The  Prime Minister, Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane officiated the sod turning of the Phase III of Tikoe Industrial Estate worth M440 million on Friday.

The initiative is led by the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) as an investment wing for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and mandated to initiate, promote and facilitate the development of manufacturing and processing industries, mining and commerce in a manner calculated to raise the level of income and employment in Lesotho.

Speaking at the launching ceremony,  Dr Thabane said this is the last phase of the Tikoe Industrial Estate, saying the construction work will  employ about 300 Basotho while about 2, 750 are envisaged to be employment once the factories begin operation.

He added that currently, about 5, 644 Basotho have been employed at operative industries at Ha Tikoe, adding that it is estimated that a total of 8, 400 Basotho will be employed when phase III is completed, thus effecting government’s pledge to prioritise improvement and development of the private sector.

He said one of the conditions is to ensure that part of the M430 million allocated for construction, which is around M150 million is meant to benefit sub-contractors, saying other developments attached to the project include construction of roads, water and electricity development and that construction of seven other factories as one major benefit.

“This development is further expected to bring improvement in the public transport sector, cleaning companies, residential rentals and security companies,” he said, calling on investors to give the local business community chance to contribute to the development of the place so that all Basotho benefit from these developments.

He commented that this can be achieved if resources are procured in Lesotho, saying this corporation will result in developing small businesses and ensuring a steady business operations.

The Prime Minister therefore commended  LNDC for fulfilling its mandate thus to implement policies for economic development in the country.

Also speaking, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Habofanoe Lehana said the initiative will promote attraction of investment in the country, saying LNDC is currently working towards completing Ha Belo Industrial Project which he said will at the end employ 14,500 people while 20, 000 will be employed after the extension.

He said LNDC is on the verge of completing a special economic zone, which is expected to house several factories and businesses, noting that these are some of the developments that LNDC is anticipating to carry out in various districts.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Qeme Constituency, Mr Nkaku Kabi said communities within his constituency are thankful for this developments as they promote economic growth hence improvement of lives. He therefore appealed that job opportunities be prioritise and be given to the communities in the constituency.

Speaking on behalf of the Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, Mr. Jimisi Theko expressed hope that the initiative will spread to other areas beyond Maseru, further appealing to communities in the area to protect the project so that it will continue to benefit generations in the area.

Present at the event included the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Minister of Labour and Employment, Cabinet ministers, private sector and the public.

Construction of Phase III of Tikoe Industrial Estate will be carried out by Sigma Construction, which is a Mosotho owned company.

Source: LENA 19/07/2019