Francistown City Councillors are appealing to the Department of Lands to review the purchase price of commercial and industrial plots in Gerald Estates.

The current prices are said to be exorbitant and above the market value.

It is also believed to be hindering plot owners from putting up factories, shopping and office complexes in the area.

According to Monarch East Councillor, Ruaboy Mpuang, the owners of commercial plots are being asked to pay P1.5 million while industrial plots are going for a hefty P1.7 million.

“Batswana don’t have that kind of money to pay off the plots and be given title deeds.

It is only when they have the title deeds that they can approach financial institutions for funding,” lamented Mpuang this week during a full council session.

“Neither do we want to see the plots being sold to foreigners. They are the only ones who can afford and have the money to purchase at such prices.

Otherwise we would have the same situation as in Gaborone, where one individual owns the whole city.”

Close to 500 plots in Gerald estates that were allocated for industrial and commercial purposes are going to waste because owners are not able to raise funds to develop them.

“Owners are expected to pay at least ten per cent of the buying price of the plots and then stagger payments.

Full payment of the plots is expected to be complete within two years.

A steep order for locals who have been allocated these plots,” the Monarch East legislator continued.

Since the plots were allocated a year and a month ago, residents of Gerald Estates still have no shops, bottle stores or butcheries to buy from.

“Gerald Estates’ population of 10 000 are really suffering.

They either have to commute into town to buy their groceries or buy from tuck shops which charge ridiculous prices,” said Mpuang.

Meanwhile, the Councillor of Canaan, Ace Ntheesang, said because there was no development taking place on the commercial and industrial plots, the people of Francistown were being denied chances of employment.

“If shops, factories and offices could be set up in Gerald Estates, our area would benefit from the jobs that would have been created,” said Ntheesang.



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