Monday, August 8, 2022

New lease of life for Gaborone recreational parks

The sight of rugged and neglected parks with far fewer resources at their disposal that have over the years been an eyesore around Gaborone could soon be a thing of the past. The city could soon be treated to refreshing sights of gleaming, innovative green spaces buttressed by financing from the private sector should the city council’s latest initiative go through.

In an effort to breathe new life into parks to provide safer and more atmospheric alternative hang out spots for the public the Gaborone City Council (GCC) is looking to outsource its recreational parks to the private sector. “We should have long undertaken this development but the delays in acquiring title deeds for our five recreational parks have been frustrating our efforts,” Gaborone City Mayor ,Haskins Nkaigwa told Sunday Standard in an interview.

Nkaigwa says now that they have got the title deed they are ready to start negotiations with interested parties to map a way forward.

“We want to improve the current status of our parks and make them safer for the general public,” he says. “Parks should run twenty-four hours so people can be able to visit whenever they feel like it and still feel safe.” He says by commercialising the parks they hope to incorporate more sporting and entertainment activities with the hope of attracting more young people to keep them away from the social ills usually associated with the generation. The Mayor says the companies will be wholly responsible for the general maintenance of the parks and activities taking place .The companies, he says, will have to come up with their own business models on how they intend raise funds within the parks. He hopes this initiative will also go a long way in providing some form of employment for citizens.

“Expression of interest will guide the accreditation process on how and who should be given which recreational park.” Nkaigwa says there are already a number of companies vying for the Tsholofelo Park. The idea of outsourcing maintenance and management of the parks came after a benchmarking exercise in regional countries like Mozambique (Maputo).

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