Mmegi Online :: From residential to posh commercial valley
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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From residential to posh commercial valley

FRANCISTOWN: The location of Minestone in Francistown is transforming at a high pace from a residential to a commercial area.
By Lebogang Mosikare Fri 28 Nov 2014, 17:13 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: From residential to posh commercial valley








Minestone, one of the few areas that make up Central ward, is changing at break-neck speed.

One might even think it is in the Central Business District (CBD) when taking a walk or drive in the area due to the mushrooming of various businesses in the locality.

Although Minestone cannot be compared to Silicon Valley-the home of many technology corporations in the United States of America and thousands of technology start-up companies-more businesses are setting up in Minestone. They hope that in the future, most of the residential plots in the area will be changed to commercial properties.

The other big difference between Silicon Valley and Minestone is that while the former is home to technology companies, the latter is home to various companies ranging from law firms and aptly dubbed Lawyer’s Valley because of many law firms that have set up shop there. Other businesses include; salons, veterinary clinics, insurance brokers and agents and lodges.

Other businesses found at Minestone are cash loans, nursery schools and fashion design boutiques. Many of the old Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) houses have been demolished and replaced by business premises.

Historians will need to document the history of Minestone because currently there is no record detailing the history of this “commercial valley” , which one may be tempted to call “Minestone Business Valley”.

This beehive of activity is within reach of important centres.

In all directions, it is cheek-by-jowl with the city’s CBD, Nyangabgwe Hospital, University of Botswana’s Continuing Classes, High Court, Botswana Unified Revenue Services and Institute of Health Sciences.

A visit to the Francistown Records Centre and Francistown Public Library to research about the history of the area did not bear any tangible results.

According to City of Francistown Development Plan (1997-2021), up until independence in 1966, residential patterns in Francistown were characterised by segregation with Europeans,

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people of Asiatic descent and ‘Coloureds’ dominating the central and eastern parts of the city while indigenous Africans were found to the west of Tati and Ntshe rivers.

However, with subsequent urban developments and impact of government policies, polarisation in residential patterns have become very much less evident, the city plan further says. This partly explains why people of different tribes from different countries live together at Minestone.

A resident of Minestone Kago Botho who lives near the park in the area told this reporter that he started living in Minestone in the early 2000’s and has witnessed the transformation of the area.

He said that some people who used to own plots at Minestone have sold them to entrepreneurs.

Botho added that he foresees other residents selling their plots to businesspeople because of the high prices that the homes attract due to their proximity to the CBD.

Lawrence Thema who owns a salon in the area echoed his sentiments.

He said unlike former residents of Minestone he applied for change of land use with the council and converted his place into a business plot.

Thema said that he started the salon because his place is near various offices that are frequented by many people on a daily basis.

An Estate Agent at Willie Kathurima Associates Sendy Good said that the reason why many businesses are setting shop at Minestone in droves is because of the area’s proximity to the CBD.

Good said that Minestone is separated by road from Galo Mall and is also near other malls and various government departments housed at Ntshe House.

“Minestone is strategically located near many vital institutions and the city’s CBD that is frequented by many people every day.

“Francistown is also growing from the centre and entrepreneurs view Minestone as an extension of the CBD,” said Good.

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