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Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Durban stadium restaurant closes down over unpaid rent

The Keg & Spear restaurant at the Moses Mabhida Stadium - owned by Durban businessman Clive Manci - has closed down after falling into arrears in rental payments.

Yesterday the stadium's general manager, Imraan Mahomed, confirmed that an eviction notice had been served on February 15 and the restaurant had been closed.

"The tenant is in arrears which has resulted in the stadium operator, on behalf of ethekwini Municipality, instituting legal action for the recovery of all outstanding monies," he said.

Mahomed refused to reveal the amount owed, but it is believed to be more than R1 million.

Manci, who is well connected in business and political circles and is the former president of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Mercury that the Keg & Spear was in a "business rescue" process.

Negotiations were under way with both the Keg's franchisor, Famous Brands, and the stadium management to restructure and to "reopen a more sustainable outlet", he said.

Manci is managing director of KZN auctioneering company Isivuno Aucor, and founding director and executive chairman of Oteo Capital.

He was a director of the Black Pepper Consortium, which got the plum R6-million contract from the ethekwini municipality to manage the official Fifa Fan Fest, beach festival and public viewing areas during the World Cup. Manci was also listed as a director of evaluations Enhanced Property Appraisals, which landed the municipality's controversial rates valuation contract.

Mahomed said: "It is disappointing to have lost a popular restaurant outlet which was performing well financially. However, this has to be balanced with the reality of the facility contravening the lease conditions, which cannot be tolerated, and we take a strict view on outstanding arrears," he said.

Darren Hele, a director at Famous Brands, said the owner of the Keg & Spear franchise was Mantrarite CC, and it was "inappropriate" for Famous Brands to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the owners of other outlets operating at Moses Mabhida Stadium report good trade.

Afzal Razak, owner of Nino's, told The Mercury his restaurant was "doing well", and that other outlets also seemed to be doing good business.

"I am not sure what happened to the Keg. We are a halaal restaurant and do not sell alcohol, but have been doing well... We've had no problems with stadium management. Actually, they have gone out of their way to market the stadium, and have been doing fantastic work," Razak said.

The Mercury

    
 

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