13 February 2018 Read: 179
Bulletin has come into possession of documents pertaining to Southern Sky Hotel and Leisure (Pty) Ltd and their application for business rescue proceedings. The company of which the controversial local businesswoman, Shamira Rinderknecht, is a director and shareholder commenced business rescue proceedings on the 8th of June 2016.
The matter seems to have turned into a hefty legal battle with attorneys representing the creditors and investors, facing off against the attorneys for Rinderknecht. A reliable source has informed Bulletin that Southern Sky Hotel and Leisure (Pty) Ltd who owns and manages the Hans Merensky Country Club and Estate in Phalaborwa, owes a very large amount of money to the Palabora Mining Company (PMC) in outstanding electrical bills. We have not yet received official word on this from PMC, but have sent them an official enquiry.
In the documents we received, an undisclosed amount is mentioned which is owed to SARS, but we have not been able to establish the exact amount or the details of the claim.
This information has revealed a whole new outlook on the drama that is busy unfolding at the Letaba Boulevard building in the centre of town. Bulletin reported on the statements made by Shamira Rinderknecht through the development contractors, LevelHeads Property Fulfilment Consultants, back in 2016 regarding a planned R50 million revamp of the dilapidated site which was supposed to have commenced in September last year.
When the project failed to launch we contacted LevelHeads and were told that the project is still on target but that they had run into a few unexpected hiccups along the way. What those hiccups were, were never detailed. We were also told that Rinderknecht was offended at this publication labelling her controversial. In all of this time, Rinderknecht was never reachable for comment.
A few months later we once again attempted to make contact with Rinderknecht, but were met with silence. We also failed to contact the contractor and the Letaba Boulevard picture sold to the Tzaneen community dwindled into distant memory.
The DA has in the meantime started to investigate the issue and will be applying pressure on local authorities to have the building condemned as it poses a very serious safety risk for the entire central business district. We will have more clarity on that from the DA’s Shadow Minister of Social Development, Lindy Wilson upon her return from parliament.
The problems at the Hans Merensky Country Club and Estate have been widely reported and range from lack of service, mismanagement of the facility, exorbitant club fees and even raw sewerage spilling from the site directly into the Kruger National Park. The latter having resulted in a visit by the Department of Environmental Affairs and a stern warning to the owner that should the sewerage spills not be rectified immediately, the entire site would be closed down.
“We as a community want this woman out of our town. Since she took over the operations of the Hans Merensky Country Club, everything has gone backwards. There used to be an Olympic standard swimming pool (the only one in the province besides Polokwane) which she covered up and replaced with a cocktail bar. The golf course was ranked 8th in the world and now resembles a desert. Everything she touches turns to dust and we have had enough of it,” said one community leader from that town.
— Joe Dreyer