Gaborone City Council pins its hope on the private sector to turn Gaborone into a diamond city. In an interview, the City Mayor Haskins Nkaigwa said they will need huge support of the private sector in order for them to perform the multi-million pula project of upgrading the Central Business District (CBD) as well as construction of the Gaborone CBD bridge.
Nkaigwa said although they have sent the proposal through the Ministry of Lands and Housing to upgrade the Central Business District (CBD), it should be noted that the project depends on the performance of the economy. Hence there is no certainty that the project will be funded.“This kind of thing has a potential to destroy whatever chances our city had in its quest to become a diamond city,” he said.
The City mayor stresses that as of now the city needs street lighting and improved road networks that led up to the CBD, as well as an upgrade of traffic lights.
“The construction of the CBD was supposed to encompass an overhead bridge, but it was left out due to lack of money.”
Nkaigwa pointed out that it is crucial for them to rope in the private sector for help, because with the current economic status it is impossible for government to turn Gaborone into a diamond city.
“Government has to recognise the input of the private sector because now they cannot manage the load as they are now focused on rural development,” he said, adding that there is need to have projects that could cultivate growth.
According to the mayor the council needs to be given projects that can be implemented by the private sector. He explained that the available funds are not enough to carry out projects. A good example being the P2 million they have been given to build up six electronic billboards.He said the planned LED outdoor full color electronic billboards will display messages declaring Gaborone a diamond city at all entry points, but regrets that this might turn into a sub-standard job due to the limited budget.
He said under normal circumstances the estimated amount needed for the billboards is around P12 million.“The council will not be able to do the job effectively and for quality and proper management the private sector needs to be engaged.”