The delay in approval of an Environment Assessment report is delaying the start of a proposed multi million Pula dairy farm that is expected to be built under a Public, Private Partnership (PPP) between the Lobatse Town Council and Milk Afric.
Lobatse Town Council Deputy Clerk Oganne Gontse said the proposed project will breathe life into the town which observers say is slowing turning into a “ghost town” because of few jobs opportunities and central government’s decision to centralise major services.
Gontse explained that they have been told that the report will be approved soon and that as soon as they have it the multi million pula project will start operation.
“Currently there are no challenges except for waiting for the EIA approval. Although the EIA has taken long, it was necessary to ensure that the all other factors are taken into consideration. However, initially there were some people who were concerned about access to their farms, but that was addressed through legal means, hence it is no longer a major issue.”
“The latest is that the EIA is about to be out for the project to start. The project is just waiting for the EIA, once is out the project will start operation,” Gontse revealed.
“The project will start as soon the EIA is approved. The machinery is on standby to start rolling.”
Besides approval of EIA report having delayed the project, Gontse said that initially there has also been some people in the area who were concerned about the project going to obstruct access into their farms but that the problem has since been resolved as is no longer an issue.
On the issue of citizenship of one of the directors of Milk Afric which was recently raised in Parliament by Lobatse Member of Parliament who had asked if it was true that one of the company’s directors was travelling on American refugee travelling documents Gontse said that they are have no problems with the citizenship of the directors as they all have valid travelling documents.
The project is expected to create 100 of jobs and produce milk that will see the country lessening its importation of milk and milk products.