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Francistown abattoir to resume operations

Publishing Date : 10 December, 2018


Francistown City Council abattoir which has been outsourced to Judex Ventures; a 100 percent citizen-owned company will soon resume operations, city mayor, Sylvia Muzila has revealed.

Muzila told councillors recently that the abattoir which was shut-down to undergo major refurbishment is currently at 96 percent completion.  “According to the project monitoring report, the procurement of the required plant stalled progress for a while but eventually delivered during the second week of this month,” Muzila divulged.

Revelations that the company is on the verge of commencing operations, have been widely received by butchery owners in the second city, who have been bitterly complaining that the prolonged closure of the facility was negatively impacting on their businesses. One butchery owner, Thapelo Toteng told BusinessPost that the re-opening of the facility will be a welcomed development. He mentioned that their businesses have been suffering because they incur costs by slaughtering cattle as far as Rakops.

“Our operational costs are high as we are forced to slaughter cattle at Rakops abattoir which is very far from Francistown,” he said. Toteng highlighted that they are forced to increase their prices for beef in an effort to cover operational costs. He said at times they take days without beef in their butcheries because of long queues to slaughter at Rakops. Toteng made a desperate plea to the local leaders to ensure that abattoir is re-opened speedily so that they start making profits.

One of the councillors who has been very vocal about the continued closure of the abattoir, Godfrey Kaelo said the council authorities should closely monitor the progress of the project which has been a white elephant for too long.  “Our electorates are bitterly complaining about the continued closure of the facility especially butchery operators. Something needs to be done to ensure that the facility is re-opened swiftly,” the Monarch West ward councillor averred.

Francistown City Council used to operate the abattoir before it was shutdown in May 2011, as it did not meet the operating requirements set up by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).  The municipality later opted to lease the abattoir because other competing priorities meant that it could not afford to refurbish it. In July 2014, Jedex Ventures won a 20-year lease to operate the abattoir, which is located at the old industrial area.

It however could not resume operations because the facility needed a major refurbishment as it was in a dilapidated state, which took time to complete. Once fully operational, the company will pay a rental fee of P17, 000 per month, hence generating the much-needed revenue for the municipality. The company appointed a South African contractor, NDC Structural Engineering Consultants to refurbish the abattoir at a cost of P7 million.



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