When the Mauritian state plays Robin Hood.

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anahitaThe outstanding real-estate projects build in through the IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme) and accessible to foreigners represent a financial windfall and a social contribution.

The Mauritian Coastline’s privatisation through the IRS has a price. The promoters will have to pay in order to benefit from the privileges of those waterfront villas’ sales.

The counterpart? Endorse a social role and to ensure performances – mainly regarding infrastructures – for which the Government has no budget. Since July 2007, the inclusion of the IRS villas neighbouring populations’ social needs is a legal imperative. The concept is simple. Levy a flat fee on each IRS villa sold, in order to constitute a fund to counter poverty and social exclusion. Each IRS project will determine its social intervention theatre.

The rural communities of Baie du Cap, Saint Martin, Bel Ombre, Choisy, Beau Champ and Riviere des Galets for example have been retained by the 288 villas Valriche promoters, build in the south-west. Bel Ombre Foundation for Empowerement (BOFE) is the master foundation of “good wills” in this region. It will be guided by the Central Statistic Office. In fact, the national statistic institute developed a relative development index. This tool measures the level of relative development in Mauritius which will be distributed in 145 zones.

The RES regionalization
The 6 villages mentioned above, shelter for approximately 6000 people, are featured in the 15 most deprived regions of the island. The literacy rates are among the weakest of the island. It was thus logical to emphasize on the formation of those regions’ residents according to Bernard Li, BOFE general director. Two hundred thousand rupees (approximately 4500 Euros), per sold villas, will be invested in social actions. A provisional 1, 2 million Euros budget has been planned on five years. .

"The region’s development sustainability will, unavoidably come from a structured economic expansion”, Mr. Li stresses. His project is composed of four parts: the social integration, the formation and the employability, the entrepreneurship and the environment, and the infrastructure development. “Our vision is to create a suitable environment for each neighborhood’s inhabitant’s development.” He further stated..

In 2008, the Minister of Finance Rama Sithanen expressed his views in favor of a “regionalization of the enterprises’ social responsibility” Citing the results of an investigation on the Empowerment program launched by the Government in 2005 – which census 229 poverty clusters. He proposes the participation of a leading enterprise in each region, in partnership with the active associations, to alleviate the local poverty. “We already regionalized our fight against poverty since nearly three years in the west of the country. Our social integration project targets 16 poverty clusters among the 229 enumerated”, emphasis Sophie Desvaux de Marigny, social project’s officer of Medine. “This represents 487 households living under the poverty line (i.e. with salaries not exceeding Rs 4000 per month)” she added. Medine is developing in its main framework, spread on 20 years (2005-2025), a huge societal project for the occidental region of the island. This plan, designed by a team of sociologists, urban planners and architects integrated to the global strategy of the group’s property development.

Source: L’Eco Austral - http://www.ecoaustral.com/
Article from Albert Kouda jr