1 200 houses to be electrified in Butha-Buthe

1 200 houses to be electrified in Butha-Buthe

BUTHA-BUTHE – ABOUT 1 200 households around the Belo Industralisation Project are set to have their houses connected to electricity, thanks to the World Bank.
The World Bank funded the project to the tune of M900 million.
It did not only connect the factories with electricity but also households and businesses in the Ha-Belo area in Butha-Buthe.
Speaking at the launch of the Belo Industrial Electrification Project in Butha-Buthe last week, Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Chief Executive Officer, Molise Ramaili, said the launch of the project was pivotal to the growth of the economy.

“This marks a big win for the Lesotho National Development Corporation,” Ramaili said.
He said the Belo Industrial Estate Project is one of the LNDC’s ongoing infrastructure capital projects in support of the National Strategic Development Plan II’s strategic initiatives implemented on behalf of the government.
“The supply of electricity in this area brings them one step closer to the development and completion of supporting service utilities for the project,” he said.

He said this project, which is envisaged to be completed this year in December, encompasses in its first phase, the construction of 16 factory shells and supporting infrastructure for the entire master plan that will see a total of 51 shells being built.
He thanked the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology, Lesotho Electricity Company and the World Bank for their unwavering support.
He said they were still to complete work at the sewer pumping station, telecommunication connection to the national grid, additional donga rehabilitation work and the completion of the fire suppression system.
He said Covid-19 has thousands of jobs being lost on the global value chains and the LNDC is dismayed at the downscaling of operations by key players that resulted in these job losses.

He said the LNDC has held stakeholder engagements to resuscitate the Inter-Ministerial Task Team, a high-level problem-solving forum chaired by the Trade Minister Thabiso Molapo.
“It has also established direct links with buyers and investor headquarters to make a compelling case that Lesotho should remain a preferred investment and sourcing destination,” he said.
He said the full scope for this project is a total of 51 factories.
He added that the LNDC seeks to explore implementation of expansion of existing investments by partnering with the private sector to explore opportunities for construction of more factory shells.
He said it is projected that the initial 16 factory shells can create approximately 5 000 jobs, while upon completion of the 51 factories, a total of 14 250 jobs can be created.

The Managing Director of the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), Mohato Seleke, said they established the collaboration with the Ministry of Energy for distribution of electricity to these firms.
Seleke said this is the first phase since they need to evaluate how large the place is and the amount of voltage that will be required for the community.
“To stimulate more investment, we are moving into an era of reduced tariffs,” Seleke said.
Seleke said they are prepared to ensure that connections are strong enough for sustainability.

The project coordinator, ’Mathapelo Silase, said the electrification will entail three components being electrification in the firms, 30 villages and in businesses which are managed by women.
Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro said already there are some investors who cannot wait for the completion of the firms since Butha-Buthe is not far from the Durban coast.

Majoro pleaded with relevant stakeholders to work together for the completion and the success of the project.
He said the place is big enough to accommodate more factory shells hence he pleaded with the community and the local council not to build the houses around the factories.

Refiloe Mpobole

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