Refurbishment of S/Phikwe airport begins


SELEBI-PHIKWE: Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) CEO, Mokubung Mokubung says once the refurbishment of Selebi-Phikwe airport is complete, they will approach civil aviation companies to conduct business in the town.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by SPEDU, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) and Bango Trading yesterday, Mokubung said the expanded airport would boost the local tourism industry and service providers.

The MoU was signed to facilitate the commencement of the multi-million Pula Selebi-Phikwe airport refurbishment project.

The airport has been identified as one of the strategic areas of development in support of economic diversification and promotion of key economic opportunities.

Mokubung advised Bango Trading, a company contracted to refurbish the airport to make sure it delivers quality project within agreed time limits to avoid cost escalations.

“This is a watershed time upon which we are starting to show implementation as we are mandated to do as SPEDU. We are steadfast in making sure that our projects will enhance import substitutions among others,” he said.

The P14.7 million project was funded by the European Union (EU through the re-employment account. Mokubung said this amount suggests that seriousness should be exercised in the implementation of the project, and timely completion, to prevent cost escalations and preserve the good name of the contractor.

Construction at the airport commenced on May 12, 2015 with the pavement of the runaway expected to be concluded in August.

At the signing event, it was also highlighted that CAAB has offered to start working with the consultant and the contractor from the beginning to ensure an up to standard project.

Mokubung added that SPEDU is now a fully-fledged parastatal under the Ministry of Trade and Industry with full autonomy.

SPEDU’s mining, infrastructure and manufacturing manager, Theodore Seemule said the recent regional tourism study that was conducted by SPEDU identified the need for enhanced access by road, rail and air as being key to supporting the diversification initiative. The study recommended the expansion of Selebi-Phikwe airport among other things. Seemule added that the study that was conducted by Aurecon Botswana last year recommended the refurbishment of the airport runway as critical to averting closure of the facility.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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