FRANCISTOWN – Despite recent stand offs between Botswana and China, it has emerged that a Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC), has been given green light to develop the much anticipated new Central Business District (CBD) in the second city, Francistown.
Francistown City Council (FCC) mayoress, Sylvia Muzila this week confirmed the new development. Muzila further stated that the Chinese constructor will work hand in hand with a local company, Bothakga Burrow thorough a joint venture model.
The new partnership between the city council on one hand and CCEC as well as its local partner, Bothakga Burrow on the other hand comes hardly two years after FCC made a plea to the private sector to partner with it for the development of the 42 hectare business plot. The plot, which is located not far from Nyangabwe referral hospital, is currently being used as a Golf Course.
This week, details emerged that the constructors are currently undertaking consultations with relevant stakeholders. The Chinese company is expected to design and manage the development of the new CBD, then transfer the development to the Council at the expiry of the lease agreement.
Muzila told a full council meeting this week that the city’s Revitalization Plan is being implemented as an effort to target specific areas/precincts of the City to attract capital investments without compromising its fabric and identity. She said their vision of 2016 identified the Francistown Golf Course Plot as one of the low hanging fruits for easy investment packages.
In her speech she highlighted the main objective of the plan, saying it aims to facilitate the best use of land by allocating specific parcels of land, and identify systems that ensure integration and sustainability of various land uses in the project area.
“What is required is not a comprehensive master plan but rather the identification of strategic projects which when taken in combination can lead to an increase in investor confidence and spark spontaneous revitalization in the areas around them,” she said.
Other projects that Francistown city council intends to undertake in relation to the Revitalization entail Parking Study within the CBD, Development of Open Spaces, as well as the rezoning of the Central Residential Area.