Mmegi Online :: Cattle baron avails land for Lobatse PPP projects
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Last Updated
Friday 18 August 2017, 15:46 pm.
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Cattle baron avails land for Lobatse PPP projects

In a bid to revive the economy of Lobatse, a local private company has availed 2,000 hectares of freehold land in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal with the Town Council to venture into a number of projects ranging from residential housing, tourism school and an airport city.
By Isaac Pinielo Fri 27 Jan 2017, 15:36 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Cattle baron avails land for Lobatse PPP projects








Executive Chairman of Cambridge Investment, Phillip Fischer says despite the spatial economic comparative advantages of Lobatse’s strategic location, developments in the town have been severely constrained by the lack of suitably zoned freehold land.

To bring a solution to this, Cambridge Investment recently entered into a PPP with the Lobatse Town Council to address the situation and help the town to economically benefit its residents.

According to the executive chairman, as part of the agreement, they have availed freehold land where developments can be allocated adding that they have decided to start with the development of the residential houses, Centre of Excellence Hospitality and Tourism School and Lobatse International Airport City.

“The availability of land has been solved by Cambridge Investments which has 2,000 hectares of industrial, residential and commercial zoned freehold land available for development,” Fischer said.

Fischer, who is a prominent cattle farmer in the area, said the residential development has therefore been prioritised as the first of the three MOU development projects to be undertaken. To this end, 1,455 freehold residential plots located in the scenic hills on the south side of Lobatse and ranging in size from 300 to 1,000 square metres were put on the market in December last year.

In addition, there are freehold plots available for commercial development, private schools and places of worship.

“Lobatse won’t be in a position to attract significant investment in commercial and industrial development without an adequate stock of housing to accommodate the influx of labour and management,” he said.

As part of the MOU, Lobatse International Airport City will also be developed with a 2km airfield capable of accommodating regional aircraft, which will be the magnet for investment.

He said the plan is to upgrade Cambridge Investment’s existing registered Alpha Airfield and associated structures to international standards.

To

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facilitate this process, Cambridge Investments has formally proposed a form of public/private partnership whereby it will donate the 34 hectares of freehold land required for the Lobatse International Airport with the government funding the airport infrastructure upgrade.

The planned industrial and commercial development around the Lobatse International Airport will commence once the airport infrastructure has been sorted.

 Fischer also said the planned hospitality and tourism school is expected to produce graduates with the skills required by the Botswana tourism sector as recommended by the Botswana Tourism Organisation.

“It will provide a conducive modern environment where investors and their suppliers and customers can stay and conduct business in Lobatse as well as transform Lobatse into a tourism gateway to Botswana,” he said.

He also said the planning for this development is underway including the search for an accredited international tourism and hospitality school Management Company and a hotel/conference centre Management Company.

In addition Fischer said each of the three MOU developments would be progressively implemented in response to market demand adding that the Cambridge Investments’ development model is very flexible and inclusive.

On the industrial and commercial side Cambridge Investments will sell or lease freehold land to local or foreign investors and depending on the viability of a project, will consider becoming an equity partner through its contribution of freehold land to the venture.

 “Given the scope of the three MOU developments, it is difficult to estimate how many jobs will be created over time but it could well be in the thousands,” he said.

Lobatse Town Council’s role is to facilitate and fast track the provision of planning and development approvals and enabling municipal services and infrastructure while Cambridge Investments’ role is to make its freehold land available for the MOU developments and to promote investment and development.

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