- Acting minister says more than P8m accrued tocitizen owned companies
- Lawmaker Majaga wants only local companies contracted
Eighty five out of 89 service providers contracted for last year’s annual Makgadikgadi Epic were citizen owned companies, translating into 95 percent.
According to acting Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mabuse Pule, the total direct revenue that accrued to the private businesses from the event is estimated at P21,187,001.10.
Pule was responding to a question from the MP for Nata-Gweta, Polson Majaga, who wanted to know the benefit of Makgadikgadi Epic, how the community benefits from the event and future plans to allocate land for accommodation in the form of lodges in the vicinage of the event.
“The total value of all tenders awarded was P9,185,300.32 of which P8,551,672.02 accrued to citizen owned companies,” Pule revealed.
The 2022 Makgadikgadi Epic was held from 1st to 3rd July 2022 in Sua Pan, which is approximately20 kilometres from Sowa Town. The eventwas coordinated by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO)in collaboration with the Parachute Association of Botswana, Tutume Sub-District and Sowa Township Council.
The Makgadikgadi Epic forms part of a series of BTO’s annual sports and adventure tourism events aimed at diversifying the Botswana tourism product with a view to increasing the average visitors’ length of stay.
According to Minister Pule, expenditure by the spectators is estimated at P12,029,200.78, adding that local companies, including SMMEs in the Nata/Sowa area, also benefitted.
He said the event brings cross cutting demand from different commodities such as fuel, accommodation, retailers, butcheries, confectionaries, transport hire, tent hire, crafts, firewood, bike rentals and food vending.
“BTO continues to work with all stakeholders and authorities to maximise the benefits of Makgadikgadi Epic to the host area, and this will continue to go beyond the days of the event,” he noted.
“While there are accommodation facilities in the area that serve patrons to the event, my ministry will make an effort to look for other opportunities within what is allowable by the Land Use and Management Plan.”
In debating the question, Majaga encouraged Pule to encourage the ministry to involve companies around Makgadikgadi, including Marapong, Nata and Maun, and not those from the capital, Gaborone.
He argued that the reality on the ground was different from what Pule was presenting.
“Our focus is to promote locals to reap benefits from such events as Makgadikgadi Epic,” Pule stressed.