The Lobatse Town Council has denied that it unreasonably favoured Milk Africa by leasing it a piece of land in Lobatse after it had turned down local businessmen to lease the land.
Denying accusations of favouritism leveled against them by Louis Herbest, a Lobatse businessman of Herbest Feeds, the LTC Deputy Clerk, Oganne Gontse, said that their accuser is currently sitting on a 40 hectares of land he is leasing from the Council and is not using it.
“How then does he expect us to lease more land to him at the expense of serious investors?” he asked.
Gontse said that after leasing the 40 hectares from LTC on grounds that he was going to grow lucern for feedlots did so only once and then stopped any form of activity on the land.
“As we talk, the piece of land we have long leased to him is lying idle with no agricultural activity taking place on it,” he stressed.
Supporting their move to lease a piece of land to MilkAfrica, Gontse said the move was a perfect one in that the company is going to invest P100 million on the project and hire up to 200 people. He pointed out that thirty of those people will soon be leaving for a one-year study course in the United States of America.
“This is why we chose the company above others. They are serious investors who are bringing both capital and skills transfer to Lobatse and that is what we need in Lobatse and not people or companies that will sit on land after being allocated it.”
Gontse further said that the company will benefit the whole country as it will reduce its reliance on imports of dairy products.
“Botswana currently imports 90 percent of its dairy products, we think this will ease with the operation of MilkAfrica,” he said.
LTC will also greatly benefit from this as the company will pay 10 percent of its profits to the Council annually, which Gontse says will help the Council to generate its own income and lessen dependence on the central government.