The property division of the Botswana Railways (BR) is currently waiting for an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report from the Ministry responsible for Environment to build its long awaited mall in Francistown, Sunday Standard has been informed.
BR Properties Managing Director – Utlwanang Golebanye said they are still waiting for the EIA report and expects it to be out atleast in April 2019.
Golebanye “Nonetheless we are progressing well with other things such as design of the mall. We are yet to present it before the city council. We have also identified a partner and we will soon sign a memorandum of agreement where the media will be invited. What I can say is that we are currently making progress on other things while awaiting the EIA report,” he said.
He said the groundbreaking ceremony of the project is expected to be in the second quarter of 2019.
BR Properties first proposed to build a multi-million pula mall in its plot in Francistown in 2014. The plot measures 11 hectares. Construction of the state of the art mall was supposed to have begun in 2017 but was postponed several times as BR Properties said it was still searching for a partner and doing a feasibility study. The mall will be the second one owned by BR Properties after Rail Park Mall in Gaborone.
It is expected to boost the ailing economy of Francistown which suffered a devastating blow when mines in its vicinity closed business. The mall will comprise of among others, retail shops, offices, cinema, filling station, piazza and a football court.
“We are yet to present our design to the Francistown City Council,” he added.
For her part the mayoress of Francistown Sylvia Muzila said in an interview with the Sunday Standard last week that they are yet to meet with BR Properties to enquire about the progress of the mall.
“We believe they are right on good progress to build the project. We will meet them soon and enquire about the progress of the project following their presentation last year at the city council. We are in dire need of this kind of developments in Francistown to boost our city’s economy,” she said.
Some of the projects that are earmarked for Francistown by BR are the establishment of a cargo consolidation hub which will be used for the storage and transportation of cargo.
BR is also currently working around the clock to build a Mosetse- Kazungula 369 km railway line. A pre-feasibility study was completed in 2011. Implementation is to be six to seven years. The project is expected to cost P800 million US dollars. The railway line will link Botswana to African countries and will help facilitate cross border trade.
BR Properties (Pty) Ltd is a 100 percent subsidiary of BR and its core mandate is to unlock the potential of BR’s real estate through sound property management and development practices. BR Properties (Pty) Ltd came about from the revision of the Botswana Railways Act in 2004, which allowed for commercialization of Botswana Railways’ land.