Gaborone City Council plans to illuminate the city through strategic partnerships and key developments around the city.
Gaborone City Mayor, Father Maphongo said in an interview with Sunday Standard;
“We should think big as a city and country as we are known for our resources, primarily diamonds and tourism. We have to position ourselves to attract the right investors, hence the reason we should be gunning for an upmarket kind of position.
When we attract the right kind of people there will be benefits for the country such as the creation of employment.”
“We have to acknowledge that Gaborone has been dark, making it unsafe at night. That is the reason we found it necessary to come up with a strategy that will ensure we deliver lighting in the shortest possible time. I am confident we will have exceeded 75% of the work by end of November.
So far, we have erected over 23 towers, and we are awaiting Botswana Power Corporation to connect them. There will be 20 more coming and we are hard at work to resuscitate some of the streetlights.”
The Gaborone City Council alongside the Special Economic Zones Authority will be undertaking major projects at Fairgrounds and Sir Seretse Khama Airport area to accelerate activity.
“Fairgrounds is our financial service centre and the Airport area is more or less a consortium of business activities ranging from manufacturing and other services. It is a natural occurrence that when developments are made in an area they have to be coordinated, need support for easy execution.
We don’t want to be operating in silos, and this will change the face of Gaborone, taking us to another level,” he said.
The Gaborone City Council is also considering a monthly marketplace concept known as the “Span-Plak” to assist Batswana who have gone into farming since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some of whom have struggled to gain access to markets.
“Span-Plak is an Afrikaans word which means working place but is an actual marketplace that goes as far back as when I was young in Francistown. It was a place where farmers would go to sell their produce every month, something we could bring to Gaborone at constituency level.
These things are better done by the private sector as the City Council will only facilitate. Currently, we are in talks with LEA for a possible partnership,” Maphongo said.
Gaborone was founded in 1964 and was named after Kgosi Gaborone of the Batlokwa tribe. For a long time, the city has served as the economic capital and the government capital by housing headquarters to numerous companies, the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Recently, the Government decided to decentralise services to other parts of the country to promote growth and quicker service delivery.