Tuesday, May 18, 2021

BAA land work set to resume in April

The long awaited development of the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) land is expected to resume sometime this year. After years of toiling, the association says it has found partners to help it on its multi-million pula land development project. With the BAA facing likelihood of the plot being repossessed from them, the association says it is now confident that it has found financiers to help them carry out the project.

According to the BAA President, Moses Bantsi, the association has found a financier from the United States of America (USA) who has shown ‘great interest in funding the development of the plot. Speaking in an interview this past Friday, the BAA President said the financiers have all but approved the project and will now be waiting for the final model plans and projections for approval before the finances are availed to the association to start the project. “Once our team of professional experts has completed the model plans and projections, they will be handed back to our financier to review. We expect this to be finished very soon and the financier to have released the money to start the project by mid April,” Bantsi explained.

Initially estimated to cost around P300 million, the newly revised project is now expected to cost around 2 billion pula. On how the project shot up from millions to billions, the BAA said this came after consultations with the potential financiers. “They (facilitators) were puzzled with what looked like a not so ambitious project that we gave them. This prompted us to upgrade the initial project scope to a cost of around 2 billion pula to include other sporting codes as there are sufficient resources available from the financiers,” the BAA President explained.

According to Bantsi, the association has already engaged with the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) to ensure that other sporting codes with land within the vicinity of BAA’s 5.1 avail their plots for development.

Apart from indoor and outdoor athletics facilities, the project is expected to include the building of a hotel to help the association be self-sufficient. While the ground breaking is expected to be done once the money is availed in mid-April, the BAA President said expectations are that the actual construction of the project will start in July this year. With consultations with the various stakeholders ongoing, the BAA says it does not expect any delays from all concerned as there is a stipulated period for the donation. Concerning the issues of payment to those involved, the BAA says the team of professional experts engaged by the association has agreed to do the initial work of model planning and projections without pay ‘and only to be engaged as Project Managers and Coordinators when the project gets funding.’ As for the financiers, the BAA says the plot would be developed as a donation to the association.

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