- Project to take 14 months to complete
- Minister praises partners for creating jobs
Debswana Pension Fund (DPF) broke ground for construction of an iconic 50-room 4-star boutique hotel in Jwaneng on Tuesday this week.
In her welcome remarks, the CEO of Debswana Pension Fund, Gosego January, expressed her excitement in the commencement of Cresta Jwaneng Boutique Hotel that has been a seven-year dream for the leading private pension fund.
The occasion also marked extension of the partnership between Debswana Pension Fund and Cresta Marakanelo Limited, who are the anchor tenant of the existing Cresta Jwaneng Hotel that is owned by Debswana Pension Fund. Upon completion of the boutique hotel, Cresta Marakanelo will become the anchor tenants and manage the hotel. Over the years, the Fund has derived strong performance across its direct property portfolio that is currently worth over P688 million.
The Fund’s direct property portfolio has remained largely resilient to exogenous shocks such as COVID-19 and national shutdowns and spans across the country with properties that include Debswana House, Gaborone Private Hospital, Gaborone Station Mall and Engen Maun. The Fund seeks to provide superior returns to its members, a goal which is a primary driver of Fund Management expanding the property portfolio.
“Over the years, we have enjoyed strong performance across our property portfolio and are invested in continuing to identify more property investments across the country,” said January. “Debswana Pension Fund understands the importance and benefit of contributing to the development of the country as not only does it enhance Botswana but also improves the lives of our members who are spread across the country.”
January stated that DPF is looking to acquire land in other parts of the country to invest in a mixed-use development aligned to meeting the needs of broader communities, inclusive of DPF’s members. Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Cresta Marakanelo, Mokwena Morulane, spoke of the importance of tourism in diversification of the economy and creation of jobs to cap the seemingly intractable burden of unemployment in the country.
He highlighted the alignment of DPF’s and CML objectives as both entities transact in the best interest of their stakeholders in identifying long-term, sustainable projects that yield superior returns for their shareholders and members, as well as contribute to the overall advancement of Botswana. Morulane emphasised Cresta Marakanelo’s interest in working with Debswana’s Jwaneng Mine to identify opportunities for the mining town, its surrounding villages and the wider community that are targeted for enhancement of the tourism sector in the area beyond the life of mine and for betterment of the communities.
In his keynote address, the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Setlhabelo Modukanele, applauded Debswana Pension Fund and Cresta Marakanelo for their partnership over the years, saying it will continue to assist in key government priorities that include creation of jobs for Batswana. The minister stated that the tourism sector, which currently contributes 8 percent to the national economy, holds immense potential for job creation because of its ability to stimulate growth of other sectors linked to travel and tourism.
Modukanele noted that the project is coming at a critical time when the government is accelerating the tourism sector’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He appealed to Debswana Pension Fund and Cresta Marakanelo to adhere to sustainability and eco-certification standards in order to attract modern travelers and contribute to reducing Botswana’s carbon footprint.
In his closing remarks, the Deputy Board Chairperson of Debswana Pension Fund said initiating property development projects of this magnitude in the current market volatility illustrates DPF Board of Trustees and Management’s confidence in the Fund’s investment strategy, in particular property investments. Construction of the boutique hotel, which is worth approximately P68 million, is expected to be completed in 14 months.