The multi-million-pula Lobatse leather industry park project is expected to create at least 10,000 jobs upon commencement of its operations in 2020 instead of the initial 5,000 jobs that were envisaged.
Lobatse Town Council Deputy Town Clerk, Oganne Gontse said in an interview that the jobs would only be available when the project is fully operational. He said the Environmental Impact Assessment – EIA has been successfully completed and the government has already reached agreement terms with experts in the industry who will provide specialised skills to facilitate the success of the project.
“The 10,000 jobs will only be available upon full operation of the leather park. At this stage, we have successfully managed to complete the EIA procedure and we have managed to agree terms with Indian partners who are experts in the field.
In terms of contractual agreements with the partner, everything has been done and preparations to start construction are also underway. We expect construction to begin early or mid next year and the deadline is 2020. The government will spend 240 million Pula on construction only,” Gontse said.
He further said the government is expecting the investor to inject some capital into the project even though he could not divulge the exact amount. The envisaged leather industry park is expected to turn around the economy of the heritage town, which is currently staggered. Farmers from across the country as well as some of the other sectors of the economy are also expected to get a boost from the multi-million Pula project.
The jobs comprise an estimated 300 hide collectors, 2,000 leather goods manufacturers and a bulk of the jobs is expected to be created in the leather processing and product manufacturing lane, such as external sectors which will manufacture safety wear from the leather products. The Botswana Meat Commission is expected to be an efficient supplier of the hides and individual suppliers are also expected to get value for their money.
The project will be located in Thema Ward in Lobatse.