Tikoe ex­ten­sion to be­gin in April

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

CON­STRUC­TION of phase III of the Tikoe in­dus­trial es­tate is set be­gin in April this year, Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa has said.

Mr Setipa made the re­marks fol­low­ing Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dr ‘Mam­phono Khaketla’s pre­sen­ta­tion of the na­tional bud­get for the 2016/2017 fis­cal year in the Na­tional As­sem­bly last Fri­day.

Dr Khaketla al­lo­cated M40 mil­lion to­wards the con­struc­tion of phase III of Tikoe in­dus­trial es­tate say­ing: “There will be pro­vi­sion of ap­pro­pri­ate in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment that will pro­mote both lo­cal and for­eign in­vest­ment, and this bud­get pro­poses an al­lo­ca­tion of M40 mil­lion for Tikoe Phase III and Belo in­dus­trial in­fra­struc­ture un­der the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try.”

The min­is­ter also al­lo­cated M5 mil­lion to­wards the rolling out the One-stop Busi­ness Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Cen­tres (OBFC) to ma­jor in­dus­trial cen­tres such as Ma­put­soe and Mafeteng. The OBFC is man­dated with pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment through ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion. It pro­vides ser­vices re­lat­ing to the is­suance of im­port per­mits, ex­port visas, trad­ing li­cences as well as work and res­i­dence per­mits among oth­ers.

Mr Setipa said phase III of Tikoe in­dus­trial es­tate was meant to ac­com­mo­date many busi­nesses.

“The 11 fac­tory shells at Tikoe in­dus­trial es­tate were ini­tially in­tended for large firms which had the ca­pac­ity to oc­cupy the whole area,” he said.

“But we later dis­cov­ered that two lo­cal firms had ob­tained leases on the prop­erty but did not need such a huge space.

“So we did de­cided to build six more shells of about 500 square me­ters to ac­com­mo­date lo­cal firms which needed lim­ited work­ing space.”

The min­is­ter said they were ready to con­struct the fa­cil­ity and only wait­ing for the re­lease of the funds.

“Plans for ex­e­cut­ing the con­struc­tion process have long been com­pleted, and we are now await­ing the bud­get al­lo­ca­tion in April,” said Mr Setipa.

Mr Setipa said the roll out of OBFC of­fices in Ma­put­soe and Mafeteng would also en­able peo­ple in re­mote ar­eas to ac­cess the agency’s ser­vices.

“Since the OBFC of­fices were only in Maseru, we learnt that some peo­ple were com­ing from as far afield as Qacha’s Nek and Mokhot­long to

ac­cess the fa­cil­ity in Maseru,” he said.

“The new OBFC of­fices will greatly re­duce the costs busi­ness­peo­ple in other dis­tricts were in­cur­ring in hav­ing to come to Maseru.”

Mr Setipa added: “To­gether with the Pri­vate Sec­tor Com­pet­i­tive­ness and Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Pro­ject, we are work­ing to­wards up­grad­ing the fa­cil­ity fur­ther by cre­at­ing a com­pletely au­to­mated sys­tem which re­quires min­i­mal use of pa­per.

“Fur­ther­more, we are also work­ing on a pro­ject that is partly funded by the World Bank to cre­ate an in­sti­tu­tion that would pro­vide startup busi­nesses with fund­ing. It is one of the ini­tia­tives in the pipe­line this year.”

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