Government has commended the construction industry for providing infrastructure support to the national economy, which has powered the country’s sustained and accelerated modernisation drive. Speaking at the official opening of the builders and construction expo on Friday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Dikagiso Mokotedi said more sophisticated highways have been constructed in Botswana, together with malls that have lept out of former dumpsites and swathes of bush.
“Gaborone has expanded into Mogoditshane and beyond, and has colonised the boundaries of Tlokweng,” he said.
He noted that a whole new iconic Central Business District (CBD) is rising beyond the railway line, which has been made possible by a few responsible members of the construction industry. He said the intention is to have a highly professional and responsible industry that only strives for excellence and nothing else.
“The global economic downturn has brought into sharp relief the fact that we cannot rely on diamonds forever. Government has introduced an initiative to ensure support for local industries, namely the economic diversification drive. Economic diversification will only be possible with participation of the private sector,” said Mokotedi.
He further said the builder’s expo provides a platform for construction industry players to collaborate, communicate, co-operate and co-exist in a way that brings solutions.
“We can compete but still rebuild our reputations, which are under attack because of misfortunes that have befallen our industry recently,” said Mokotedi.
He added that learning from each other and sharing ideas can only serve to fortify the construction industry, so that all property developers can have peace of mind and take pride in their projects. He stated that in a developing country such as Botswana, it is in all the best interests to stand up and take notice of and support efforts to build the landscape of the country. He further said Botswana now boasts of world class accommodation facilities, factory shells, schools, office buildings, hospitals and a litany of other projects that make the country’s socio-economic life easier and better. He said because of faith in the construction industry, banks lend Batswana more money through mortgages, in turn deriving benefits in terms of interests on these loans. He added that this facilitates exchanges that are mutually beneficial to multiple stakeholders.
“With the recently announced economic stimulus programme, it is important that such initiatives find the industry in good shape and ready to hit the ground running,” said Mokotedi.