Affordable factory shells for small enterprises

Masentle Makara

MASERU - Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Chief Executive O cer, Mohato Seleke, has said small Basotho entrepreneurs will soon get small factory shells, which are a ordable to rent. He was speaking to Public Eye in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. LNDC has already started building the factory shells at Ha-Belo in Butha-Buthe where a total of 51 units are expected to be completed in three years time. The first phase, comprising 16 units is expected to be ready for uptake by the end of the year.

“The plan of building the industrial estate at Ha-Belo in Butha-Buthe started in the year 2000 when LNDC bought the land at Ha-Belo but over the years there have been problems, including lack of finance. There were also issues of compensating people who had lost land to the project and in some cases such disputes took time to resolve.

So this year the government decided to implement the project seventeen years Butha-Buthe after residents were promised factory shells.” Seleke said The objective of the project is to contribute towards the economic development of the Kingdom of Lesotho through provision of industrial space to potential investors.“The project’s infrastructure comprises the following: roads, water supply, power supply and telecommunications.

We are going to build the infrastructure for all the firms which is in total of 51 LNDC Chief Executive Officer Mohato Selekefactories but when we commence with phase one, we are starting with a total of 16 factories and the remaining shall be rolled out in the next coming years,” Seleke said.Under the project, LNDC will build units of different sizes.“So the kind of factories to be build are off all sizes; big ones, middle ones and small ones which will therefore cater for the needs of different investors.

Both international and regional investors are targeted to open their investment ventures in Lesotho.“In terms of employment, which is so important, during phase one, the project development is estimated to bring about 3,000 jobs during construction of the estate and an estimated 14,250 permanent jobs when all 16 factory shells are completed and occupied.“Once operational, the estate is expected to create a spillover economy for the local business sector in Butha-Buthe, as the permanent employees will require services, products, housing and transportation,” said Seleke. About 42 000 direct jobs which are expected to be created once Ha-Belo industrial estate is complete.

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