Mayoress Sylvia Muzila has implored farmers in Francistown to take advantage of the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) privatisation by partnering with the potential investors.
Muzila was speaking during a full council meeting last week.
The state-of-the-art BMC facility in Francistown was shut down last year as government felt it was not only underperforming but running at a loss.
The second city is going through economic hardship following the closure of mines in its vicinity. BMC closure was the last nail in its coffin.
“I believe farmers will benefit as they will sell their cattle in the nearby BMC without having to travel long distances to Lobatse BMC. It will be disappointing to the President if he learns that we have not acted on the opportunity given to us. That alone will defeat efforts that the President is making by going around the world inviting investors. This is something that we need to think about deeply and come up with a solution,” said Muzila
Meanwhile the Mayoress has expressed disappointment at the snail pace at which the city council is implementing the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Framework meant to uplift the ailing economy of the city.
The PPP policy and implementation framework was adopted in 2009 as an alternative means of financing public infrastructure projects to accelerate and improve infrastructure development, create a conducive environment for stronger public and private sector.
“We need to be seen to be aligning to what the minister has put before us and I observe, as council we are in compliance. The only challenge is that we are doing it at a snail pace. The minister indicated that progress has generally picked up nationally and it is the intention to intensify implementation in the next financial year 2019/2020,” she said.
The mayoress said Francistown should continue implementing the PPP Framework as there are assets that could be used to generate income for the development of the city.
Muzila revealed that the introduction of PPP policy began at the time when they started their tenure as councilors and they came up with several initiatives geared towards what government wanted to achieve.
She said it is with regret that progress on some of the initiatives has been painfully slow. She said some of the projects that are to be developed through PPP are the Central Market, Old Tati Town Primary School, the Parking Strategy within the Central Business District (CBD), the Francistown Golf Course and the Rezoning of Minestone among others.
“Nevertheless, I wish to note with appreciation that there has been some new developments in other initiatives,” she said.
Regarding the council abattoir which has been under refurbishment she said that the facility started off well as farmers and the business community are bringing their cattle for slaughter. She said the facility has one police officer and six veterinary officers who are assigned for inspections.
Muzila said the abattoir is one of the best in the country and with a capacity to slaughter up to 500 cattle per week.
“This is one of the achievements in the city that I wish the same could apply to the other initiatives that I have mentioned earlier,” said the Mayoress.