Billionaire agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch is a shareholder in the Taghazout Bay project.
Rabat – The Ministry of Interior, under royal instructions, has decided to suspend construction of a number of projects in the Taghazout Bay resort in Agadir. The projects are part of the Moroccan National Tourism Strategy “Vision 2020.”
The decision comes days after the royal visit to the region of Agadir when he inaugurated socio-economic projects.
A statement from the interior ministry ordered to the legal representative of Sud Partners — a subsidiary of Akwa Group owned by Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch – to halt work on a number projects due to serious irregularities.
The decision includes the demolition of at least 24 buildings belonging to the Sud Partners’ project due to the deficiencies.
The construction had extended outside the area allocated to the project, according to the statement from the ministry.
Sud Partners owns a 25% share in the Taghazout Bay resort.
Other shareholders are CDG Development, the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development, and Moroccan Tourism Engineering.
CDG owns almost half of the shares in the project with 45% ownership.
The Taghazout Bay Resort covers an area of 615 hectares of coastal strip with 4.5 kilometers of beach.
The resort is set to boast hotels, tourist residences and high-end residential areas, as well as entertainment areas.
The tourism vision aimed to construct the project at the heart of Morocco, making it close to major cities, 160 kilometers from Essaouira, and 230 kilometers from Marrakech.
The project, however, did not go as planned by shareholders due to serious deficiencies and violations including the use of land outside the allocated zone.
The shortcomings in the project led to the royal instructions, set to be followed by a “political earthquake” that will see a number of senior government officials and local employees in the region lose their jobs.
The interior ministry statement said that the Sud Partners project is on hold and several villas that did not appear in the original design will be destroyed.
The “gross violations” are against several laws, including Law No. 66.12 issued under decree number 1-16-124 of August 25, 2016 related to monitoring and restraining violations in the field of construction and building.
Akhannouch Sud Partners’ project includes 52 villas for public sale.
In addition to Sud Partners, royal instructions also ordered the suspension of other projects by the CDG, Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development, and Moroccan Tourism Engineering.
The deficiencies in the project are not the first of their kind to anger King Mohammed VI.
The situation echoes the development of the Manarat al Mutawassit development project that aimed to curb social disparities in the Al Hoceima province in northern Morocco. The region witnessed large scale protests after the death of a fishmonger in a garbage confiscator.
The death of Mohcine Fikri led to protests across the region, with thousands of demonstrators denouncing social inequalities in the region and lack of hospitals, universities, and job opportunities in the region.