Some butchery owners in the second city have called on the Francistown City Council authorities to expedite the re-opening of the council abattoir.
In an interview with Global Business, one butchery owner, Martin Bontsibokae said the continued closure of the council abattoir is greatly affecting their businesses. “Our operational costs are high as we are forced to slaughter cattle at Rakops abattoir which is very far from Francistown,” he said.
Bontsibokae noted that they are forced to increase their prices for beef in an effort to cover operational costs. He said at times, they go for days without beef in their butcheries because of long queues for slaughtering at Rakops.
The clearly concerned Bontsibokae said the local leaders should do something to save their businesses by advocating for the reopening of the abattoir. In previous full council meetings, some Francistown councillors expressed grave concern about the non-operational council abattoir.
Monarch West councillor, Godfrey Kaelo has been one of the vocal civic leaders about the closure of the facility. “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,” he said in a recent full council meeting.
In her speech, City Mayor, Sylvia Muzila, said the facility has been outsourced to a private company called Judex Ventures. “My fellow councillors, we had hopes for assisting farmers with slaughtering of their cattle but unfortunately the investor has closed due to the specifications that were presented before them,” Muzila pointed out.
She added; “I am also aware that the Architectural drawings for the Pre-treatment Plant for this project have been approved by Building Control Committee and the investor was able to register its lease.”
The Mayor expressed optimism that the abattoir will be put to use in the near future.