Shuttleworth's next big plan

2013-11-10 14:47

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Pretoria - A tiny island country in the Gulf of Guinea is set to get a major cash-injection as South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth gets ready to invest R960m to develop a world-class tourist resort.

Plans are afoot to develop the exclusive holiday destination on the island of Sao Tome and Principe, which is one of Africa’s smallest nations – a nation known for its rainforests, unspoilt beaches and cocoa crops. The former Portuguese colony is home to only about 180 000 people. The capital city, San Antonio on the island of Principe is the smallest city in the world with only 700 residents.

Shuttleworth plans to develop the island of Principe without disturbing its beauty. A spokesperson for Shuttleworth, Tania Garcia, told the Sunday Times that the plan is to support the country to become a unique tourist attraction.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who lives on the Isle of Man, said earlier this year that he misses living in South Africa, but that exchange controls put entrepreneurs at a significant disadvantage compared with their counterparts in Western economies. In July he lost an application to have the country's entire exchange control system declared unconstitutional.


Judge Francis Legodi dismissed Shuttleworth's application to set aside the imposition of a R250m levy he had to pay to get some of his assets out of the country in 2009 and for the Reserve Bank to return his money.

The North Gauteng High Court also dismissed his application to declare invalid the Reserve Bank's policy of not dealing directly with members of the public but insisting that they should communicate through bank dealers.

The judge however granted an order declaring Section 9(3) of the Currency and Exchanges Act as well as certain portions of the Exchange Control Regulations unconstitutional.

Section 9(3) gives the President not only the power to amend or suspend any part of the Currency and Exchanges Act, but also the power to amend or suspend any other Act of Parliament.

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