Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dilapidated cities and towns are scaring off investors

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. A real estate bulletin which provides country by country analysis states that Botswana should take a relook into city policies, and possibly introduce changes tailor made for emerging business enterprises.

“The only way for cities such as Francistown and smaller towns across the country to enhance competitiveness and attract investment in property and infrastructure, is to urgently expedite the overhaul and maintenance of those places,” states part of the Bulletin.

Speaking to this publication, Gaborone based Town Planner Tlhalefo Thembani said with a population explosion anticipated in Botswana and much of Southern Africa between 2025 and 2050, most investors would be attracted to cities and towns that are well built and maintained 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 says.

In a video conference held with other real estate developers and town planning consultants, Thembani says they came to the conclusion that if Botswana is to catalyse economic growth then they should comprehensively re-look at city laws, as a way of catering to emerging business enterprises.

He said it was disheartening that cities and towns still have not renovated buildings which were built after 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 irregularities are not addressed,” he says.

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