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Forget About Konza, See This Massive City Project Owned By The Kenyatta Family

The Kenyatta Family, one of the biggest land owners in Kenya is undertaking an ambitious real estate project that will result in an 11,000-acre mixed-use estate comprising residential, industrial, and commercial units hosting about 250,000 people.

Dubbed Northlands City, the development that is estimated to cost Sh500 billion, will occupy an 11,576-parcel of land in Ruiru – about 15km from the Nairobi city centre. 

The land, which is traversed by the Eastern Bypass, is owned by the Kenyatta Family and is currently occupied by its dairy processor Brookside, and Gicheha Farm – the family’s livestock rearing business.

Northlands City Master Plan

According to the Northlands City’s master plan, some 3,570 acres have been earmarked for housing – with 3,134 acres set aside for low density housing, 306 acres for high density housing, and 130 acres for medium density residential housing.

The low density housing segment will have 601 villas and 1,320 town houses while the medium density area is reserved for 670 townhouses and 368 housing units in blocks of flats.

A total of 6,980 units on blocs of flats and some 3,100 townhouses have been planned for the high density residential housing area.

The master plan further shows that 390 acres have been set aside for a business district, including some 33 acres that are earmarked for a shopping mall or hotel and two acres for a clubhouse.

Northlands Industrial Park

Forget About Konza, See This Massive City Project Owned By The Kenyatta Family

Safaricom, Airtel To Be Fined For Delaying Customer Care Calls

Many Kenyans often complain about the long duration telecommunication companies customer care take before answering calls.

Due to this, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) proposed a draft seeking to make changes that will protect consumers making inquiries and complaints from being put on the call queue for more than 15 seconds.

Firms such as Safaricom and Airtel face regulatory fines if they take more than 15 seconds to answer customer calls under new draft regulations.

The draft regulations recently published for public comment will allow the regulator to fine the telecoms providers Sh300,000 for every breach and a jail term of up to three years.

This is an upgrade from the current regulations, which compel firms to set up customer service call systems without specifying call queue time lines.

The draft regulations seek the firms’ customer service to be available at all times — 99.9 percent at the minimum — and resolution to a customer complaint inside 14 days.

If approved, telcos will face up to Sh300,000 fine in line with Section 27 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act 1998 that empowers the CA to make regulations for telecoms services.

“Any person who contravenes any regulation made under this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh300,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both,” states the Act.

The regulations may force firms such as Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya and Mwananchi Group to hire more staff for their call centres.

Calls made to the firms call centres have been rising in tandem with the increase in mobile phone and internet subscribers.

The number of active mobile phone subscribers has nearly tripled from 19.4 million at the beginning of 2010 to 55.2 million at the end of March 2020, putting pressure on the telcos’ call centres.

Telcos keep customers on hold for longer periods, sometimes using the window to advertise their products and services.

The experience is worse for non-telcos such as banks and pay-TV providers where customers are charged on call queues.

Safaricom has decentralised customer care centres for walk-in customers, investing in self-service platforms and also increasing social media interaction to cut the number of customer queries going to its call centre.

The regulator says that the customer care agents providing the services and attending to customers must be well informed and competent, professional, courteous and helpful.

The CA further proposes that marketing communications via SMS should only be between 7am and 7pm unless within prior customer consent or if such messages are in response to a request initiated by a customer at a particular time.

Telcos will also be barred from marking a SIM card as dormant and passing it to another customer in cases where the card has unresolved issues.

“Any subscriber number that is the subject of a complaint filed by a customer or the Authority shall not be re-assigned until such a complaint is resolved to the satisfaction of the Authority,” says the CA.

Safaricom, Airtel To Be Fined For Delaying Customer Care Calls

Hotels reopen after Covid-19 curbs easing

More than 90 percent of hotels had resumed services by last month, betting on the phased reopening of the economy that is anticipated to drive back customers to the facilities.  A Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey shows that 91 percent of the hotels outside Nairobi were open last month, coinciding with the resumption of domestic and international flights and easing of measures on gatherings.

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Ramco Group To Set Up Headquarters In Ruiru

Ramco Group, a conglomerate of over 50 companies has beefed up its plans to set up a modern factory, warehouses and a new headquarters in Ruiru. The group has more than 50 firms operating in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

 

They have bought a four-acre plot within Nairobigate Industrial Park in Ruiru which 103-acre industrial park is being developed by ImpAct, a special purpose vehicle owned by international smart warehouse developer Improvon (SA) and UK equity firm Actis.

The new premises will house Ramco’s Kentainer Limited, which deals in manufacture of industrial and domestic water tanks as well as other plastic products.

Ramco was started in 1948 as small hardware store in downtown Nairobi.

ImpAct head of business development Mr Paul Williamson said Ramco has also committed to lease a 3,000 square metre factory that they (ImpAct) are putting up at the business park.

The factory will be ready by the end of next year.

The Nairobigate property sits on Eastern bypass, five kilometres from the Ruiru interchange along Thika Road and next to the 11,000 acre Kenyatta family-owned Northlands property.

“ImpAct acquired the parcel of land and has invested money towards infrastructural development where a perimeter wall with associated security features are now in place as well as two 10,000 square metre warehouses,” said Mr Williamson.

Ramco Group To Set Up Headquarters In Ruiru

CBK's put the nail in the coffin.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has opted not to extend the six-month freeze for listing loan defaulters with credit reference bureaus (CRBs), paving the way for blacklisting of thousands of borrowers from today. CBK governor Patrick Njoroge Wednesday gave the banks the green light to blacklist borrowers who have defaulted in the wake of the coronavirus economic fallout. But the defaulters look set to appear in the books of Kenya’s three CRBs — Metropol, TransUnion and Creditinfo International—from January after the expiry of the 90-day notice.

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