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Carol in R80 billion deal

CAROL Bouwer might be known to many for her famous production company but the gorgeous lady is now claiming her space in other sectors of business.

Bouwer, 36, spoke to Sowetan in her offices in Cape Town.

Sitting in her leather chair with a striking view of the harbour behind her, Bouwer spoke about her involvement in business.

Her interests include television production, mining and property development.

She has been involved in mining since 2003 through the African Women Investment Holdings, a shareholding company in which some of her businesses are held.

"I don't see myself involved in the operations of the mine," she said.

Bouwer is about to embark on her most ambitious project yet - a development project called Peace Island.

She says subject to government approval she and her partners from the Middle East are working on one of the biggest foreign investments seen in South Africa, with between R50 billion to R80 billion invested.

Peace Island will be an offshore project, located just off the southwest coast of Western Cape in Table Bay between Robben Island and Dolphin Beach. It will be 900 hectares of land in sea.

Among other things, she says Peace Island will:

  • Provide housing in the context of poverty alleviation;
  • Promote and enhance the habitat and biodiversity in the marine and terrestrial kingdom of Cape Town;
  • Increase foreign direct investment;
  • Contribute to tourism;
  • Raise the country's international profile; and
  • Contribute to tourism.

Similar projects have been done in countries such as Dubai, Qatar, Jordan and Australia.

Financing of the project will be a combination of equity and debt.

Bouwer is not only excited about the financial aspects of the island but the empowerment of the people.

"It's about the legacy which will be left behind," she said.

"Private sector needs to find ways to deal with unemployment without depending on government and foreign investment."

Bouwer has come a long way.

Television viewers might remember her as Kgomotso in Generations back in the day. In 1996 she left the soapie to start Carol Bouwer Productions.

"All I wanted was a pay cheque and being acknowledged for what I did. The storyline on Generations was exciting but I did not want to be that person whom people would talk about in taxis (because of the character I was playing)," she said.

She has never looked back.

Today the company produces Motswako, A-list and No Reservations, all flighted on SABC.

"You must know why you are getting into business. Don't do it because somebody else is doing it," she said firmly.

"I don't crave stardom. I want respect. Success must be defined by me."

Bouwer views happiness differently.

"I can be happy in a very small environment. Happiness is a state of mind. I find contentment that you can make a difference by just changing one life."


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