Francistown mayor, Sylvia Muzila told a full council meeting this week that the company will complete the refurbishment of the abattoir on March 18 whereupon it will start operations.
“It’s anticipated that the facility will start to function as soon as possible and the council will start to receive fees for leasing the property,” said an optimistic Muzila.
Indications that the company is on the verge of kick-starting operations were widely received by civic leaders, who at one point last year expressed worry about delays in starting operations by Judex Ventures.
In July 2014, the company won a 20-year lease to operate the FCC abattoir, which is situated at the old industrial area. It however could not start operations because the facility needed a major facelift, which took time to complete. Once fully operational, the company will pay a rental fee of P17,000 per month.
This week the company’s managing director, Harry Moloi confirmed that Judex is at an advanced stage of commencing operations.
“We will begin
preliminary operations in the beginning of April. The preliminary operations will mostly be limited to training of employees but towards the end of April, we will begin operations in full swing. We are happy with our pace given the prevailing circumstances,” he said.
According to Moloi, the company will employ 36 people among them skinners, abattoir managers and maintenance personnel.
Moloi however said he could not disclose the details on the company’s production targets or the amount it had invested in operations.
The FCC used to operate the abattoir before it was closed in May 2011, as it did not meet the operating requirements set up by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).
The FCC later opted to lease the abattoir because other competing priorities meant that it could not afford to refurbish it.
Judex appointed a South African company NDC Structural Engineering Consultants to refurbish the abattoir at a cost of P7 million. The company will also train the employees at the facility.