Mmegi Online :: Francistown Oriental Plaza remains idle
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Last Updated
Wednesday 28 June 2017, 06:00 am.
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Francistown Oriental Plaza remains idle

FRANCISTOWN: The 51 units at the Oriental Plaza shopping complex at Kgaphamadi still remain idle since the opening of the building in 2011.
By Lesedi Mkhutshwa Fri 16 Jun 2017, 16:52 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Francistown Oriental Plaza remains idle








The shopping complex was denied an operating licence by the then Ministry of Trade and Industry and has since been used by Chinese business people as warehouses.

Responding to a questionnaire on why the complex is not yet licensed, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), Peggy Serame said they only issue trading licences to individual businesses and not to building complexes.

“There are some businesses that were licensed in 2012 to operate at the facility. Trading licences are issued to individual businesses not to a building complex,” explained Serame.

She said they are aware that some businesses use the Francistown Oriental Plaza for warehousing which is not illegal, as it does not require trade licensing to do such.

However the senior public relations officer at the Francistown City Council (FCC), Joseph Wasubera said they are still awaiting a report on the issue pertaining to the trading permit of the premises from the MITI, which he said is holding back the complex from

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being used.

He said the FCC is still looking for ways to help the premises to commence operations so that it would boost the declining economic status of the city. The FCC trading licences committee chairperson, Carlos Sebina shared similar sentiments with Wasubera.

“The economic situation of the city has gone bad after the closure of mines. The complex if fully operational will create employment opportunities for the small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) and security companies amongst others,” he said.Kgaphamadi ward councillor, Zibanani Benifield told Mmegi BusinessWeek that councillors have long resolved that the complex should be opened.

She said the complex will create many employment opportunities especially for the youth when it is fully operational. “The Francistown Oriental Plaza could create over 300 permanent jobs for the youth in the city,” she said. When Mmegi BusinessWeek visited the premises recently, trucks full of goods were seen heading from the plaza to the Central Business District where many of the Chinese shops are situated.

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