Singapore firm acquires two more sites for development

BIO Supreme Development, a Singapore firm with the biggest investment in South Africa among the Republic’s companies, has acquired two other sites in the country to develop a hotel and residential estate.

The two sites – a 5,100-sq-m area in Hatfield, near Pretoria, and a 17-ha piece of land in Verwoerdburg, Pretoria – would be developed within the next two years, according to Bio Supreme’s chairman, Mr Ng Heng Huat.

“With these two new projects in the pipeline, Bio Supreme’s presence in South Africa will certainly be enhanced … We are setting the pace for other Singapore companies to invest here,” he said.

He made these comments at a press conference on Monday after the opening of the Sammy Marks Convention Centre which his company developed at a cost of 20 million rand (S$8.8 million).

The convention centre, the largest in Pretoria, has, among other facilities, a multi-purpose hall with a seating capacity of 750.

Besides the convention centre, Bio Supreme is also developing a 200-million-rand, five-star hotel in the heart of central Pretoria, South Africa’s seat of government.

Work on the 332-room hotel would begin early next year and is expected to be completed by 1996.

Mr Ng said that Bio Supreme was encouraged by the investment climate in the country and planned to develop other areas in the country.

This included developing a residential estate of 150 units – each about 1,000 sq m – of detached houses in Verwoerdburg at a cost of 50 million rand.

Bio Supreme was also planning to build a 130-room boutique hotel in Hatfield to cater to the growing number of visitors there, especially from the diplomatic corps because of the concentration of embassies there, he said.

To be developed at a cost of 25 million rand, the hotel’s facilities would include a restaurant and a coffee house.

Executive director Zolius Lee said the company would invest 300 million rand in South Africa over the next five years.

It planned to develop a chain of hotels in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, which is the country’s second-largest city and a leading tourist destination.

Asked why Bio Supreme was investing heavily in South Africa and not in countries like China or Vietnam, he said Pretoria stood out because it offered first-world infrastructure and facilities.

Bio Supreme, which was set up by seven Singaporeans and registered in September last year, is the third major Singapore company to invest in South Africa.

The first major Singapore investor there was petro-chemical and pharmaceutical group Petro Pharma, which is establishing a four-million-rand paracetamol factory near Durban.

Another investor is textile group Tolaram, which bought a textile mill in March.

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