The much-hyped new Central Business District (CBD) that was to be constructed at the old golf course by the Francistown City Council has failed to take off.
The failure to start the project follows the City Council’s failure to lure investors for a possible private-public-partnership project.
Now the city council leadership has admitted that it has failed to find a developer and that the project will not will not take off any time soon.
City Mayor – Godisang Radisigo during a Full Council meeting last week. In 2013 the city council announced its plans to transform the 42 hectare unkempt land which has been lying idle for years into a Central Business District. The project formed part of Francistown City Council vision 2022 which seeks to transform the second city into an economic hub.
Radisigo revealed that to date, the plot has not been developed and council has tried different development models in the past such as establishment of an investment company and acquiring a developer through tendering but failed.
“We are currently devising new modalities with an intention to package the developments into land servicing and lot development. The process is expected to be completed by end of October 2020 including determination of costs, funding model and advertising of lots. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre will continue to play a pivotal role of assisting us to attract investors for the development.
On a different note he said the city council has been allocated a total of 257 open spaces in the city out of which 161 open spaces have been registered and have title deeds. He said the inventory of the 161 open spaces indicates that 101(62 percent) of these are located at Gerald Estates and most of them are not yet developed. The mayor said out of the 161 open spaces with title deeds, 48 have been reserved for utilization by youth as per the 30 percent quota reservation scheme.
“Out of the 161 open spaces with title deeds, 48 have been reserved for utilization by youth as per the 30 percent quota reservation scheme. Only 19 of these have been awarded to the youth since 2018 despite the fact that they were identified within the built up area to facilitate the youth,” he said.
He however said there is slow development due to lack of funding and constant relocation by youth even though spaces were identified within the built up area to facilitate easy utilization by the youth.
Among other important issues, Radisigo said it remains their aim to provide and maintain quality infrastructure in the city. He added that since the beginning of the plan period, focus has been on primary school facilities, maintenance of roads and constituency community programs.