Botswana News

Botswana: Fronting Undermines Empowerment Efforts

Gaborone — Government efforts to enhance citizen empowerment are sometimes undermined by local contractors who front and misuse mobilisation fees.

This was said by the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Mr Mmusi Kgafela when updating the nation on the progress, successes and challenges of government projects on Tuesday.

Expressing concern about youth companies that fronted for foreign firms, he said it was surprising that while the name of a bidding enterprise indicated citizen ownership, the situation on site would be different.

Mr Kgafela revealed that the ministry was investigating causes of such unprincipled practices which contributed to Batswana losing well deserved tenders to foreigners.

He pointed out that government was committed to empower local construction companies through the awarding of tenders for building projects to create jobs for citizens.

To that end, he said, the ministry had adopted a strategy of unbundling mega projects to make it possible for more local companies to benefit as well as a reservation policy through which maintenance projects were reserved for Batswana.

The ministry had also reserved a 30 per cent quota in construction projects for youth companies, he said.

According to Minister Kgafela, the ministry desired to see the initiatives bearing fruit and enabling citizens to directly benefit from jobs created in projects financed by public funds.

“I wish to call upon all those involved, including the private sector, to work hand in hand with government to ensure that these initiatives achieve their intended objectives,” he said