Member of Parliament for South East South, Odirile Motlhale, has expressed doubt over the merits of the migration of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) from London to Gaborone.
As parliament resumes business, Motlhale intends to propose an urgent probe that will ensure that the relocation proceeds according to a set time table. Motlhale wants the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources to appoint a committee that will also advice of any potential legislative and administrative bottlenecks.
He also wants the Special Committee to share with stakeholders information on possible business opportunities with a view to ensuring that the nation benefits from the relocation and that the information is made public.
In a recent communique released by the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Secretariat, Motlhale contends that areas of employment, tourism, property market, legislation as well as entertainment and leisure are not adequately addressed in the build up to the relocation.
His doubts on the employment potential,he says, stem from an apparent failure by DTC to live up to a promise they made in 2008 to have employed 800 people by the end of 2009. “It is now 2012 and we are yet to experience any winds of change in the economy and or employment landscape.
This is a worry for concern as this appears to be more of a Public Relations exercise than a reality to be attained,” he said. While it is envisaged that tourism stands to benefit immensely from the relocation, Motlhale says the tourism sector needs ideal figures of families that will be relocating from London to Gaborone in order to properly plan for capacity. “This information is not available and such coordination it will appear lack sight and point of concentration.
Thus the Special Committee shall ensure such information is not only available but that promises by both DTC and the Botswana Government are delivered. Such information must not only reach the rich and selected few as has been the case in the past,” he says.
The outspoken MP says according to his findings, property investors have no idea about the demand for property size that they can use in developing property and negotiating with financers. “With DTC having generated $3.5 billion in the year 2009, the Special Committee will ensure then that an estimate figure for how much will possibly be made by DTC Botswana is made public knowledge so that the planning and involvement of local Property developers in the economic development of Botswana becomes a practical reality,” he charged.
Motlhale further called for a review of the legislation on licencing of ammunition and personal riffles and noted that private security companies intending to do business within the diamond industry should be well equipped to deal with increasing sophisticated levels of crime. “Batswana who intend to do security businesses with DTC must know now so that they get ready for any eventuality. It is a suspect that at the manner the situation is being handled, the private security firms will be imported leaving the local security firms to do the menial jobs.
This must not be tolerated,”Motlhale contends. Motlhale says a conducive environment also needs to be created for foreign investors. “The current set up of entertainment legislation are punitive, unrealistic, anti-tourism, anti-foreign investment, abusive and without a sense of purpose. It is our hope that the Special Committee will also come up with recommendations, advices and requests to improve the situation,” he concludes.