- P226.6 million; SPEDU investment value
- Only 334 permanent jobs created since inception
- P32 million for office and staff operations per annum
The Selibe Phikwe Economic and Diversification Unit (SPEDU) has invested P222.6 million on projects like feasibility studies and management plans, creating 334 permanent jobs, since its inception.
This is according to the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse who was answering the question of Phikwe West MP Dithapelo Keorapetse who had put a question in parliament wanting to know the number of jobs created, activities, successes and failures of SPEDU since its inception.
SPEDU was established as a diversification unit for regional economic development of Selebi Phikwe Town and the surrounding Sub Districts in 2008, under the then Ministry of Finance and Development
Planning and was later transferred to Ministry of Trade and Industry in April 2012 registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee.
According to Seretse, SPEDU is still working within its mandate and since inception has refurbished the Selebi Phikwe Airport Runaway and Taxiway, funded the construction of a 45km electricity line along the banks of Motloutse River. “The project will enhance ease of access to reliable and affordably power to over 44 horticulture farmers with a potential to cover 800 to 1000 hectares of farm and within the next five years,” he revealed.
He counted among other projects the Thune Dam Master Plan whose final approval he said was expected by end of November.
Pula Steel, Plaatjan Bridge, Horticulture processing plant and revitalization of Talana farms are some of the projects that SPEDU was actively involved in.“The number of jobs created by SPEDU helped to create total 286 construction/projects implementation jobs as well as 334 permanent jobs and the cost of running the SPEDU office including staff and operations is P32 million per annum,” revealed Seretse.
Another body called the Selebi Phikwe Economic Revitalization/Recovery Program is on the cards, with Linah Mohohlo, the recently retired Bank Of Botswana Governor already announced as its head. While details on the organization’s role are still sketchy, Permanent Secretary in the Presidency Carter Morupisi mentioned in an interview with Gabz FM yesterday (Monday) that the program was established to “speed up” the economic diversification strategy in Phikwe, a role which some are already criticizing as duplicitous of that of SPEDU.