Botswana: Ramotswa Chooses Mall Over Stadium

| July 13, 2016

Residents of Ramotswa have given the South East district a green light to construct a mall at the village CBD plot commonly known as Show Grounds amid little reservation from fellow tribesman.

The plot which was initially a show ground for the South East district agricultural show was later earmarked for a stadium.

However, owing to the world economic recession the stadium could not be built and the council proposed the area to be converted into a commercial entity.

In a kgotla meeting on Saturday, council chairperson Mr Phenyo Segokgo said the issues dated back to 2013 and it had to be finalised.

He said the area was in a tribal land hence whatever development would be carried there should benefit the tribe.

Mr Segokgo said they intended to build a mall at the site as well as a mini sport complex and bus and taxi terminal.

He said they had proposed that Ramotswa stadium be constructed at Boatle along the A1 road.

During comments, an overwhelming majority of the residents spoke in support of the council's proposal for a mall.

One resident, Mr Condrad Mogorosi said it was obvious that Balete preferred the area to be a mall which would be constructed under the private public partnership initiative.

However he said he was puzzled as to why the village chieftainship said they were not consulted despite that they were represented during council proceedings.

Another resident, Mr James Phiri said he was in support of the council motion but asked for the council and the Malete Land Board to speed up allocation of a new show ground.

Mr Phiri said the stadium should be constructed at the new proposed area along the A1 road.

Mr Enosi Mmesi opposed the idea of converting that area into a mall, saying this will lead to Balete losing their procession to investors.

Mr Mmesi doubted if there were strong local businesses people who were able to construct a mall of such proposed magnitude.

Another resident Mr Ditswele Kereng said he doubted the sincerity of the council in its proposal saying the village chieftainship should be consulted about any development in the village.

For her part, Kgosi Mosadi said although bogosi was part of council proceedings, there was always a need for the council to consult with morafe before taking decisions.

She said bogosi as tribe custodians had to ensure that the community was thoroughly consulted in order that development reflected the will of the people.

Source: Botswana Daily News

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