The Gaborone City Council is looking for a private partner to help renovate and run its abattoir which has been closed for years.
The abattoir which serves the city and its environs is closed because it does not meet requirements of the new Livestock and Meat Industry Act.
The exercise was revealed by GCC’s Principal Public Relations Officer, Ipelegeng Lekgaba in an interview.
The new Act requires amongst other things that there should be a separate ablution at the abattoir which means erection of major structural modification for their current abattoir.
Lekgaba said the Gaborone City council has no money to carry out the required modifications hence the call for a private partner to come on board.
“We do not have finance power for the modifications that are required that is why we need a partner for the project,” she said.
Asked where butcheries in Gaborone currently get their meat supplies, she said that they get the latter from Botswana Meat Commission as well as from Kweneng and Kgatleng Districts abattoirs.
Already some butcheries owners in Gaborone are complaining that lack of a GCC abattoir is rendering their businesses less profitable as they have to travel long distances to buy meat in places such as Lobatse, Mochudi and Molepolole.
They also accused GCC of disregarding their duties by not repairing and running their abattoir which made it easy for the council to make sure that residents of Gaborone eat meat killed in hygienic abattoirs.
“As we talk, they do not know the health standards of the meat that is consumed in the city whilst it is their responsibility to make sure that only hygienic is sold to the residents,” lamented one butchery owner.
Prominent Meat industry players such as Kenosi Thothe of T & T Butcheries and Murray Dipate of Lobame Meat Centre from Gaborone have in the past complained that the closure of the city abattoir has forced them to buy meat from local villages at ‘exorbitant prices, which costs are then transferred to consumers.
At some point there were also talks of constructing a new abattoir through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP). It is not clear whether the authorities at the council have abandoned the idea or not.