Tourism concession lease issues pending
20 Mar 2023
Parliament has been informed that issues surrounding tourism concession leases have not yet been conclusively dealt with.
Answering a question in Parliament recently, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Ms Philda Kereng attributed the delay to the need for the review of previously issued leases.
Ms Kereng said government had instituted a task force to look into issues of ownership of concession areas, compliance and security related issues among others, hence the delay.
“The process culminated in recommendations which are to be implemented in three phases that commenced in January this year.
Recommendations entailed prioritisation of issues to be attended to regarding concessions with pending leases, concession with lease that were due for renewal as well as vacant concession that were to be advertised,” she added.
She further said the ministry was aware of the implications caused by the delay experienced on the tourism development and sustainability, especially on investor confidence for both the local and foreign companies and the impact on the contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
Ms Kereng also highlighted that the environment ministry and that of lands and water affairs were working closely in an effort to expedite the implementation of the outstanding land matters affecting different concession matters.
The process, she said, included engagements with affected lessees to facilitate resolution of all compliance, requisite and renewal issues. “The process commenced in November last year and is expected to normalise during the first quarter of the 2023/24 financial year,” she said.
Member of Parliament for Lobatse, Dr Thapelo Matsheka had asked the minister about the status of tourism concession leases since they had been outstanding for years.
Dr Matsheka had also wanted to know the cause of the delays, saying such affected investment decisions of current operators.
In addition, the Lobatse legislator asked the minister if she was aware of the implications of the delays on the broader tourism development and sustainability, especially on investor confidence, both local and foreign, given the contributors of the sector to non-mining GDP. Ends
Source : BOPA
Author : BOPA
Location : GABORONE
Event : Parliament March 2023
Date : 20 Mar 2023