Thursday, August 5, 2021

Mayor bemoans slow progress in resuscitating Francistown Abattoir

Francistown Mayor, Sylvia Muzila has lamented on the slow progress made by Judex Ventures (Pty) Ltd, a citizen owned company which was engaged by the Francistown City Council last year to lease and refurbish the Francistown Abattoir.
Briefing a full council meeting on Monday, she said failure to refurbish the structure and revive its operations on time is seriously affecting the people of Francistown and surrounding areas in getting services. 
‘Let me remind you that despite the fact that the lease was signed on 23 July 2014, progress has been very slow with regard to the refurbishment of the abattoir. The company is currently constructing the boundary wall and no work has commenced on the main structure. It is my hope that work on the main structure will commence soon so that the facility can be put to use on time,” she said.
The Francistown Abattoir, which began its operations in 1984, was shut down in 2011 after a report from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the council engineers rendered the structure hazardous to the lives of customers and even employees. The DVS inspection report also condemned the dilapidated abattoir for not complying with the Livestock and Meat Hygiene Act. Francistown City Council then resolved to lease the abattoir after it failed to revive the structure due to shortage of funds.  
Among other important issues, Muzila expressed concern on failure by SHHA beneficiaries to develop their plots. She said that despite dire need of accommodation in the city, SHHA plots both in old and new areas remain either undeveloped or abandoned. She said these plots now harbour criminals. She revealed that despite the waiting list currently standing at 29, 000, some of the plots have been underdeveloped for a long time.
“You will agree with me that that given these facts, it would therefore be proper that the plots that remain too long undeveloped be repossessed and allocated to those on the waiting list. This exercise will commence with immediate effect,” she said.
She said that so far the city has a total of 14 048 plots that were allocated to SHHA beneficiaries over the years. Of these plots, she said, 11 648 are fully developed, 1 125 plots are under construction while 1 265 remain undeveloped. She said the large share of undeveloped plots are at Gerald Estates having a total of 1 168.
“I do understand that most of them may have been allocated these plots in the past two years, but I want to implore them to develop these plots using the turnkey or the Building Material Loan programmes of SHHA as soon as possible because in due course they will be repossessed for failure to comply with the development requirements,” warned Muzila.
She also said that the city council is also in the process of repossessing undeveloped commercial and industrial plots in the local centres around the city. She said all the seven industrial to ten commercial plots allocated at Gerald Estates have not been developed. Muzila also said there are some undeveloped plots at Dumela industrial, Ntshe, Selepa, Monarch Phase 5 and at Satellite.
“Out of 94 industrial plots at Somerset West, 42 are developed. We are going to ascertain that all those that have been surpassed by their development period are repossessed. We are currently talking about attracting investors in our city. We need this land for investors to set up businesses and create employment for us in the city,” she said.
On poverty eradication, the mayor said the city council is making good progress in that regard. She said that after a careful consideration of challenges faced by the youth in this programme, FCC has amongst others, initiated a programme to assist poverty eradication beneficiaries with some land for agricultural purposes. Muzila also said on the same platform, the city council has identified other areas to be incorporated in Poverty Eradication Programme.
“A portion of an open space measuring approximately 18 hactres at Kgaphamadi along Ntshe river has been detailed for horticultural purposes. Similarly the decommissioned Donga Cemetry which measures 22 hectares will be used for various poverty eradication projects that are compatible with the surrounding land uses.
In conclusion she hailed the Botswana National Sports Council’s (BNSC) decision to host the Africa games in Francistown at the new Francistown Stadium which is due for opening end of the year.┬á
“Once more this activity marks a milestone for us in our quest to make Francistown a city of investment and in also fulfilling our vision 2022,” she said.

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