300 000 peo­ple shar­ing equally in their com­mu­nity's wealth

Finweek English Edition - - Cover -

rather than be­tween, vil­lages.”

The king said the plan was now to cut back on build­ing new roads and in­stead put cap­i­tal bud­get to­wards im­prov­ing the state of the en­tire in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing roads, storm-wa­ter drains, school build­ings, clin­ics, sewer sys­tems and street light­ing. “The sewer sys­tem is a top pri­or­ity and should be com­pleted within the next three years,” Kgosi Leruo said.

Com­plet­ing any project in Pho­keng means giv­ing ac­cess to such a fa­cil­ity to ev­ery house­hold, as hap­pened with wa­ter pro­vi­sion three years ago. That was made pos­si­ble by the RBA’s R40m con­tri­bu­tion to the Ma­galies and Rand Wa­ter Boards in a joint ef­fort to sup­ply bulk wa­ter. Now that all the schools are prop­erly retic­u­lated, the sewer project would bring wa­ter-borne san­i­ta­tion to the com­mu­nity.

Other than some minework­ers walk­ing to work in the neigh­bour­ing Rasi­mone, Im­pala Plat­inum and Xs­trata mines, some of the vil­lages Fin­week vis­ited were lit­tered with con­struc­tion work­ers in blue over­alls work­ing for com­pa­nies with SeTswana names.

Lo­cal se­cu­rity com­pa­nies guarded ev­ery RBA build­ing we vis­ited, while clean­ers em­ployed by com­pa­nies with such names as Bophep­a­pele Clean­ing Ser­vices or Atle­gang Bafo­keng Clean­ing Ser­vices were also hard at work.

“Our SMEs (small and medium en­ter­prises) do the work them­selves,” says Ge­orge Khu­nou, for­mer CEO of the RBA and cur­rent MD of Royal Bafo­keng Sports Hold­ings. The com­pany – it­self a com­mu­nity prop­erty – owns the Royal Bafo­keng Sports Palace, which would be host­ing games for both the Con­fed­er­a­tions and Soc­cer World Cups in 2009 and 2010 re­spec­tively. “The best way to em­power the com­mu­nity was to let our own peo­ple do the job them­selves.”

To en­sure ev­ery­one gets a chance to share in the op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided by the in­fra­struc­ture roll-out, no sin­gle SME can win a ten­der be­fore com­plet­ing its pre­vi­ous job – mean­ing no one com­pany can work on two jobs at the same time.

The Royal Bafo­keng Eco­nomic Board is tasked with play­ing the role of a de­vel­op­men­tal agency, de­vel­op­ing lo­cal en­trepreneurs and help­ing to fund Bafo­keng-owned SMEs.

The RBEB’s aim – through the na­tion’s Vi­sion 2020 pro­gramme – is to “lead the Bafo­keng into be­com­ing an eco­nom­i­cally self-sus­tain­ing com­mu­nity”.

Kgosi Leruo is par­tic­u­larly am­bi­tious – he wants the com­mu­nity to pro­duce one “world­class” en­tre­pre­neur from ev­ery 20 of its mem­bers.

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