The Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Estimates has rejected a close to P38 million maintenance proposal by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration (MoPAGPA) for maintenance of Orapa House.
MoPAGPA had requested for a supplementary budget of P37. 5 million that was envisaged to go towards works on the envisaged technology park at Orapa House.
Instead, the committee raised concerns that the proposed use of the building fails to capture the iconic significance of the facility in relation to the development of the diamond legacy in the country.
“The entities proposed to utilise Orapa House already have their own facilities and innovation programmes, which they should be encouraged to pursue.
The ministry is therefore advised to review the proposed concept on the use of this building and come up with more innovative ways of deriving maximum value from the investment.
Total supplementary requested was P37,500,000. The committee
Despite that, the committee said it appreciates the desire by the ministry to make use of Orapa House as it has been underutilised. The building, which used to be the headquarters of Botswana Diamond Valuing Company, is just one of the two buildings of the kind in Africa.
In the financial year 2020-2021, the ministry was allocated P2.5 million which was deemed insufficient to kickstart the projected maintenance works. The proposed works at Orapa House are part of government’s strategy to transform the economy from being mineral-led to knowledge-based through research and ideas, using the building as an innovation hub for youth.