Botswana Railways (BR) this week launched a new private company called BR Properties (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BR whose core mandate is to unlock the potential of BR’s real estate through sound property management and development practices.
Speaking at the launching ceremony held at Phakalane this week, BR Chairperson, Lesedi Moakofhi, explained that BR Properties came as a result of the Revision of the Botswana Railways Act, which allowed for commercialisation of its Land and other Properties, Commercial Exploitation of BR Land Exercise, which was carried out by a company of Independent Consultants in 2001/2, and Botswana Railways’ Turn ÔÇô Around Strategy.
“The establishment of BR Properties and other subsidiary companies, which are still to be established, will go a long way in allowing Botswana Railways to focus on its core business, which is the train operation,” she noted.
She said BR Properties, a commercial subsidiary of BR, is expected to manage BR real estate with an estimated value of approximately P600 million. These Properties include developed properties and undeveloped land of different uses. Much of the undeveloped land lies in major areas such as Gaborone, Francistown, Lobatse, Palapye and Mahalapye and are mostly located in very prime areas, he said.
BR Properties’ principal objective is to grow earnings from quality based property portfolio. To fulfill that, the company will invest primarily in offices parks, industrial buildings, shopping centers, retail stores, and residential properties.
“BR Properties envisages to participate actively in the development process of all major projects and to have a significant market share,” she said.
The Managing Director of BR Properties, David Tsheboeng, pointed out that their vision is to play a leadership role in development and management of properties in Botswana.
“Our aim is to carry out the property developments quickly enough hence we are engaging development partners and investors to help us to increase capacity in the areas of development, construction and management,” he said.
The Assistant Minister of Works and Transport, Frank Ramsden, said they were at a stage where they fully realize that property developments do not only benefit the investors, such as the Botswana Railways. “These developments will also improve the quality of our towns and cities; they stimulate job creation, they will promote the opportunity to empower citizens, and they attract private sector investment as well as facilitate the development of skills amongst our people,” he stated.