Selebi Phikwe region is awash with business opportunities, especially within the manufacturing sector where it has been announced that 30 percent of total produced will be bought by government Briefing the Media on Wednesday, Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit’s Chief Executive, Dr Mokubung Mokubung said the development is welcomed despite delaying some proposed projects.
“Government has approved investor incentives for the SPEDU region which among others include the government off-take Agreement of at least 30 percent procurement. This has previously delayed some projects,” said Mokubung. This latest incentive from government is expected to drive investors towards Selebi Phikwe, with its economic fortunes dwindled by the infamous closure of BCL copper mine. The mine was the economic heartbeat of the region, which is expected to host the popular Toyota desert race this June. Meanwhile, Mokubung has highlighted that currently there is lack of serviced land in Selibe Phikwe.
The region has a land bank comprising 25 pieces of land measuring 528.6 hactares categorised as commercial, agriculture, tourism, heavy industry and free enterprise zones. “The entire land bank is not serviced, however the ministry of land management, water and Sanitation Services is currently working on a plan to service the land,” he said.
Recently the minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo said government had developed incentives to attract direct investment into the region including a 5 percent tax for businesses setting up in Selebi Phikwe and a 10 percent tax after the projects had gained ground. She said a 30 percent government off-take in locally produced goods had also been agreed upon to empower local manufacturers and producers as well as expediting land servicing and provision on a minimum of 50-year lease to investors.
Government-owned SPEDU was established in 2015 following a study on diversification that was commissioned through the then ministry of Finance and Development Planning funded by the European Union. Meanwhile, SPEDU board chairman, Tlhotlheletso Yane pointed out that SPEDU intends to diversify the economy in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and services in order to create sustainable employment, advance the quality of life and enhance socio economic development in the region by 2035. “I wish to take this opportunity to invite all yet more companies to explore the bountiful business opportunities that exist in the SPEDU region and enjoy the attractive government incentives,” said Yane.
He said SPEDU region is shaping up to become a key trade corridor linking Botswana and South Africa. “My advice to those yet undecided is that now this would be an excellent time to grab business opportunities on offer with both hands and avoid the rush,” he said.