SEZA’S GRAIN SILO PROJECT ON TRACK

• Silos will have storage capacity of 60 000 metric tonnes

SEZA’S GRAIN SILO PROJECT ON TRACK

A flagship project of the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA), construction of 12 steel grain silos at the Pandamatenga Special Economic Zone (SEZ), is progressing on schedule and within budget.

This came to light during a recent tour of the Pandamatenga SEZ by senior management and Board of Directors of SEZA. Led by Board Chairman Thapelo Tsheole, the tour covered key projects, among them a potato farm, SEZA’s 107 hectares agro-processing zone and the construction site where 12 steel grain silos are being built.

Project Manager Walter Kgabung told the delegation that the silo project was progressing well, on budget and within time. “Electrical and mechanical installations are at 60 percent completion while civil and structural works have been completed,” Kgabung said. “The project is progressing smoothly despite delays occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He revealed that the unavailability of materials in nearby Kasane forced the contractor to source from Gaborone and Francistown, resulting in delays. The Pandamatenga SEZ was noted by President Mokgweeetsi Masisi in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) recently when he revealed that design and construction of 12 steel grain silos with an overall storage capacity of 60 000 metric tonnes was underway and would be completed by August 2021.

The project, which is valued at about P126 million, is expected to boost storage capacity in the Pandmatenga SEZ in anticipation of increased agro- production.

Also speaking to the delegation, Tsheole expressed satisfaction with progress made in developing the Pandamatenga SEZ, saying it would improve ease of doing business tremendously by availing serviced infrastructure to investors.

“The Pandamatenga SEZ will attract large scale investors who will mainly be producing for export,” he said. “That way we will be solving our long running problems of lack of foreign direct investment, unemployment and high food import bills.”

The Chief Executive Officer of SEZA, Lonely Mogara, told the delegation that the Pandamatenga SEZ will benefit from the recently completed Kazungula Bridge and the envisaged Mosetse–Kazungula and Mmamabula–Lephalale railway lines.

Pandamatenga has been zoned off by SEZA as an agropolis with a total land area of 137,007 hectares on which farmers will produce cereals, legumes, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables, animal feeds and fertiliser. SEZA also anticipates to boost value addition by promoting agro-processing industries in the Pandamatenga SEZ.