MASERU — The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) is set to launch a M10 million credit guarantee scheme next month as part of its action plan for the 2010 fiscal year.
The LNDC, which was set up in 1967 to help generate wealth and create employment, says it wants the new scheme to serve as a test case for larger projects that it says are in the pipeline.
The head of domestic investment at the LNDC, Mokhethi Shelile, told the Sunday Express on the sidelines of the LNDC Golf Day held at Maseru Golf Club on Friday that they will work closely with local banks on the scheme.
“(The) LNDC is going to establish a credit guarantee scheme where we are going to work with banks to finance the local private sector,” Shelile said.
“It has been approved by the LNDC board (and) we have decided that we are going to pilot this for the next financial year for M10 million.”
Shelile said the golf day was part of the LNDC’s strategy to disseminate information on their plans for the next financial year.
He said the LNDC, in collaboration with Trade and Investment Limpopo, a South African agency for the Limpopo provincial government established to market its potential and investment opportunities, will host a business and exhibition forum sometime this year.
The forum would provide a platform for the local private sector to team up with their counterparts from the South African province.
“The reason we have held this golf day is for networking,” Shelile said.
“For example, we have the ambassador of South Africa present here today to talk about the possibilities of the projects we plan to start.
“We are planning to have a Lesotho-Limpopo forum. A date has not been set, but it will be held in the next financial year.
“This will help local companies to show off their businesses.”
Shelile said the LNDC was also working closely with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation to build an Eco Lodge in Butha-Buthe, about 60 kilometres north of Maseru.
He said a partial feasibility study had revealed that the project will rake in a gross operating profit of M4 million a year.
“We have completed what we call a concept. It is an idea of how we are going to move forward,” Shelile said.
“We have a 145-hectare area of land in Butha-Buthe on which we want to develop a tourism facility.”
Shelile said the LNDC would invite developers starting this week.
“We are going to announce to people to give us expressions of interest,” he said.
“We will be expecting them to come up with the operator of the facility as well.”
Shelile was confident that the future was bright and said the LNDC was committed to growing local businesses.
“These projects are a sign of an LNDC that wants to help the local private sector even more.
“We have a healthy pipeline of projects,” he said.