Botswana Railways has announced plans to kick-start major infrastructure development plans in Francistown, among them a mega mall and a dry port.
Addressing a full sitting of the Francistown City Council (FCC) last week, Director of Human Capital at Botswana Railways, Letlhogonolo Bantsi unveiled plans to roll out major investment projects in the large swathes of land that belong to the organization in Francistown. BR Properties plans to build a mega mall in Francistown, similar to the famous Rail Park Mall in Gaborone. The state of the art mall is expected to have various amenities, among them a hotel. Construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2017. BR Properties also plans to build a dry port terminal on its 35.5 hectare piece of land located next to Kgaphamadi location in Francistown.
“The dry port is expected to ease transportation of goods through Francistown to other parts of Botswana and the region,” said Bantsi.
He further revealed that the management of BR Properties is currently in talks with the board and business partners to make sure that all plans for the projects are in place. He however could not disclose the amounts to be invested in the two projects.
“We are currently in discussions with our business partners and we will always keep the FCC in the loop,” said Bantsi.
As part of further efforts to ease movement of goods, Botswana Railways also plans to build a railway line from Mosetse to Kazungula.
BR Properties was incorporated in 2007 with a mandate to manage and unlock the value of property belonging to its parent company, Botswana Railways. The company was established as an investment vehicle that would extract value from the prime land owned by Botswana Railways by partnering with private sector companies, individuals and public institutions. The property company last year unveiled its revamped corporate identity, aimed at broadening its business scope and unleashing its competitive edge in the market. At the time, BR Properties revealed that going forward it would adopt a sound commercial approach to property development and assets investment. Its three pronged business model includes assets and facility management, development management and property management. The company intends to achieve its mandate by partnering with government, undertaking project services for third party clients and acting as an implementing agent for operational and investment properties.
However, it will not be easy sailing for BR Properties, as it will face stiff competition from a somewhat saturated market that is already dominated by big players like Time Projects, Turnstar Holdings, Khumo and Apex Properties.