LNDC boss pleads for funding

LNDC boss pleads for funding

BUTHA-BUTHE – LESOTHO National Development Corporation (LNDC) Chief Executive Officer, Mohato Seleke, has pleaded for a massive cash injection from the government to “rescue” the Ha-Belo industrial estate.

Seleke said the LNDC was struggling financially to complete the construction at the Ha-Belo in Butha-Buthe saying projects such as the one of Ha-Belo industrial site need funds to run optimally.
Seleke said this last Friday during a tour and inspection of the Ha-Belo Industrial Estate.
“The project is already putting more pressure on their cash stream,” Seleke said.

“If this is not put to a business rescue, it will lead to a point where we find ourselves in financial crisis?” he pleaded.
Seleke said they also have engagements in other big projects which include Ha-Tikoe industrial estate which cost M450 million.

This year, he said, it seems like they are going to add more projects.
He said this will force them to take out all they have to finance those projects.
“Can those in authority feel pity for us and assist us,” Seleke said.
For Ha-Belo Industrial Estate, Seleke said they have used about M264 million to make sure that this project sees the light of day.
“Now we have nothing left in our cash stream.”
Seleke pleaded with the government to assist because they “cannot stop the project or delay it”.

He said their mandate is to create jobs and make sure that those who have the ability to create them have buildings to work in.
Seleke said they have a big crisis of shortage of firms in the country saying there is an earnest demand for investors to get buildings to run the firms.
Butha-Buthe MP, Motlohi Maliehe, said Ha-Belo is a good trading destiny since it is a three-hour drive to Durban and Gauteng.

He said they have worked hard together with the urban council so that the community does not vandalise the place.
“The place should be protected. The farmers should only be allowed to farm and not build domestic houses,” Maliehe said.
He said the government should work hard to develop the place.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Dr Moeketsi Majoro said for the last two years when they presented the budget speech, they spoke of creating jobs.
Dr Majoro said Ha-Belo was one of their targets.
“We will do all in our power to see that the project is funded,” Dr Majoro said.
Dr Majoro said when they were allocated money this year, they left Ha-Belo and Ha-Tikoe projects behind.

But he made a pledge that they are going to generate funds through bonds.
“We will not be happy if the construction is delayed because of finances,” Dr Majoro said.
He said after completing 16 factory shells, 14 500 jobs are going to be generated by 2021.

From number 17 to 51 shells, they are giving Basotho the opportunities to build the factory shells.
Dr Majoro said they have already laid a foundation for Basotho.
The residential engineer of the project, Delayneh Girma, said the project’s progress is at about 55 percent complete.
He said they had big dongas of which they have closed since this was putting their infrastructure in danger.

So nearly 95 percent of the dongas have been filled up.
Girma said this project was expected to take three years but due to rain, they cannot finish it through within that scope of time.
He said due to the rains they expect an extension of three to four months of their work.
He said this is a big project which can change the face of the country.
“It can give the country the courage to embark onto other big projects,” Girma said.

He said they have some challenges which require assistance from the authorities.
Such challenges include water supply and insufficient electricity supply.
Because of this, they need to be assisted with the necessary resources to ensure the project succeeds.

“If these problems are addressed, this will help us finish on time,” Girma said.
He said they would also like the government to give similar priority to the project in terms of allocating funds so that the project is finished on time.

Refiloe Mpobole


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