Contractor hired for Francistown facelift- FCC engineer

Street vendors in Francistown. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Street vendors in Francistown. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

FRANCISTOWN: Following their quest to attract investors to Francistown, the city council is busy conducting a surgical operation on the city.

A contractor has been engaged to pave walkways within the Central Business District (CBD), a principal roads engineer at Francistown City Council (FCC), Tlamelo Segootsane has disclosed.

The project, that began yesterday and is estimated to last for two months and will come at a cost of P1,531,244.70.  Segootsane made the disclosure at the City Hall when he addressed vendors on their impending relocation to pave way for these developments last Friday.

He said that council’s intention is to refurbish the main streets, improve walkways and market points and suppress dust within the CBD. “This development will temporarily affect your business because you will be moved. We have identified other places to relocate you to. Some of you will be moved to the front of Ntshe House, behind Nswazwi Spar and if the space is not enough, we will look for other places within the town centre, “ he said.  Segootsane said that thereafter vendors would have a standardised space of 2.5 metres per vendor to separate their stalls and walkways.  He said that this would not only improve the face of the city, but also boost their businesses because they will be operating their business in a clean, and well-organised environment.  Commenting on these developments, the City Clerk Israel Leboile advised vendors to follow the rules and regulations on their vendor’s licences to avoid embarrassing evictions. “We are still following our last year’s resolutions and no one should leave behind their merchandise at the end of business because we will continue to take them to the landfill. Do not build permanent structures, and make sure you clean your operating space daily, “ said Israel.

He warned vendors that council would continue to take the merchandise they leave behind at the close of business to the landfill in accordance with resolutions made and agreed upon by both parties.

Israel said that the area was once paved and it worries the council that more money will be used again for the same project due to the damage caused by vendors.

He said that vendors destroyed and broke paving bricks when they illegally constructed shacks and shades. He cautioned them to avoid doing that.

He pleaded with small entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of the city by keeping it clean because they are the same people who complained that Francistown was not in a state that qualified it to be called a city. “We do not want to chase you away. You play an important role in the development of the country’s economy. Stop selling illegal products because police blame us (council) for influencing crime, “ said Israel.

He said that in the past they have retrieved illegal products sold by vendors and thus breaching their trust in them.

“Some of you have been caught selling drugs, some are into money laundering and some have hired illegal immigrants to operate their businesses, “ he said.

Israel said that if they continued disobeying council regulations they would be forced to withdraw their licences as a way of trying to regulate their operations.

He said that vendors should appreciate council’s efforts of empowering citizens by allowing them to operate their businesses for free. Vendors were pleased that the developments would not mean they would not be evicted permanently and they promised to follow the rules and regulations laid before them. One of them, Segametsi Moalosi pleaded with the council to provide them with dustbins in order to properly dispose while another vendor, Nomsa Mulenkha complained of members of the public who urinate and dump litter behind their tuck shops. In response, Israel said that the FCC was busy constructing concrete dustbins at the bus rank and that the intention was to eventually cover the entire CBD so as to control litter.

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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