Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Botswana professionals packing for South Africa

Botswana?s experienced professionals are packing their bags and making a bee line for South Africa to cash in on the 2010 construction boom.

The brain drain and the anticipated shortage of construction materials and contractors are expected to worsen Botswana?s problem of poor development project implementation Works and Transport Minister, Lesego Motsumi, told parliament.

She said Botswana has not done a detailed research to establish the likely impact of the construction boom in South Africa on the implementation of the mid-term review projects.

?However, given the interdependence between our economy and that of South Africa, the construction boom in South Africa is likely to have an impact on the implementation of some of our major construction projects. The magnitude of such an impact has not been established, but it may affect, among other things, the availability of construction materials, and make it more difficult to attract construction contractors and consultants, and to recruit and retain professional and construction personnel,? she said.

Motsumi said Botswana was already losing professionals who have relocated to South Africa to take advantage of the construction boom. This trend may continue. South Africa is currently riding the crest of a construction boom. South Africa is currently involved in a massive construction of the Gautrain, an infrastructure in preparation to host the 2010 World Cup.

Motsumi was answering questions from the Member of Parliament for Bobirwa, Shaw Kgathi. He had asked the minister ?how the construction boom in South Africa and the peripheral areas with regard to preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is likely to affect the effective implementation of the Mid-term Review Projects?.

Kgathi further asked the minister to explain her ?strategic alternatives to mitigate this likely handicap.?

Motsumi told parliament that her ministry was currently considering a number of options, like packaging Botswana?s project ?in such a way that they are sufficiently large to attract international companies to locate here.?

She said another option was to ?make use of new implementation models that can speed up the construction process and reduce bottlenecks.?

?In this regard, my ministry is implementing some projects, on pilot basis, through the private public partnership (PPP) method. We are currently piloting the use of consulting services by recruiting multi-disciplinary consortia. My ministry has also established a task force to find ways and means of attracting and retaining qualified professionals in the public service.?

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Sunday Standard August 9 – 15

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 9 - 15, 2020.