Botswana cities and towns are too dilapidated and old as a result of age and neglect and this is scaring away investors from putting their money in property or financial schemes. Speaking to this publication, Gaborone based Town Planner Tlhalefo Thembani said “the only way for cities such as Francistown and smaller towns around the country to enhance competitiveness and attract investment in property and infrastructure, is to urgently expedite the overhaul and maintenance of those places”.
With a population explosion anticipated in Botswana and much of Southern Africa by 2015, Thembani said most investors would be attracted to cities and towns that are well built and maintained ÔÇô something which he says the country is failing to do.
“Going forward, most investors will be enticed by cities and towns with population growth. However it does not help if population growth puts immense pressure on infrastructure.”
He said he and his coterie of town planners recommend a comprehensive re-look at city laws, as a way of catering to emerging business enterprises, which are the catalysts for economic growth. He said it was disheartening that cities and towns still have not renovated buildings which were built around independence in 1966.
“It is regressive that a middle income country like Botswana still has numerous buildings which were built in the pre-ICT era and as such their floors are aged and make it hard to route data and data cables,” he says adding that the country needs to expedite and make buildings have modern ceiling voids and other intelligent buildings accessories.
He also said at a macro-level, Botswana must revise her Town Planning laws since some urban planning regulations are obsolete and no longer in line with the current economic set-up. “The building infrastructure designs are old and investors will not risk investing when such anomalies are not addressed,” he says.