South East District Council has offloaded issues of economic diversification in the district to their newly established company, BBTN that will see that it generates revenue on behalf of the council.
The Council Chairperson, Phenyo Segokgo, launched the business arm of the district last week, explaining that he said the district has at last achieved its long-term dream to have a vehicle that will take care of council investments, as well as to generate income. Speaking at the launch of the investment company, Council Chairperson Phenyo Segokgo said BBTN will relieve the administration the burden of running the district and at the same time generating money to run the district. “This has been on the drawing plans for some years, and I had to make sure this project is up and running before I leave office.”
The district will further reduce too much dependency on dwindling government funds. “This financial year 2016/17 our Revenue Support Grant (RSG) is P124 million and with such, we can’t go as far as we wish to achieve developments we want in the district”, he said.
He disclosed that being near Gaborone, South Africa and Lobatse the district has many business opportunities that can attract serious investors, which investments can in turn generate income and create jobs to reduce unemployment in the district. “Some of the projects we have in the pipeline is to set up Central Business District in Ramotswa, Amusement Part with lodging facilities, Sky Diving and water sports in Mogobane, Tourism activities in Otse, Student lodgings in Tlokweng and a shopping Mall, as well as other projects that will be conceptualised”, he noted, urging the business community in the district to be part of the development strategy that can help BBTN.
Speaking at the same occasion, Rev Mpho Moruakgomo, who is the President of Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) commended the council for the establishment of an investment arm, adding that district has joined the likes of Kweneng, Southern and others in economic empowerment drive of their respective districts.Moruakgomo said with the proximity of the district to Gaborone, there is very good potential of good success rate because the city is congested and setting up projects in the district through BBTN could offload a lot of burden from Gaborone.