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New firms set to create 5 000 jobs

’Mantoetse Maama MASERU — Companies that will occupy the new factories to be constructed at Tikoe Industrial Area are expected to create 5 000 jobs altogether. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane performed the sod turning on the project on Thursday. The US$24 million (M196.4 million) construction project is jointly financed by the government, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in the Africa (Badea) and the Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid). Thabane said the government was committed to empowering the private sector. “Empowerment of the local private sector is also a top priority of my government,” Thabane said. In addition to the 11 factory shells, there will be six smaller units of 5m² for local entrepreneurs to integrate with larger companies through linkages, he said.

“What is more gratifying is that the companies which are earmarked for occupation of these factories will manufacture diverse products including electronics, footwear, protective clothing, automotive leather seats, plastic products, luggage accessories, blankets and garments.”

“These projects will predominately service regional markets with a range of new products to achieve product and market diversification.”

Phase 1 of the project will cover development of 27 hectares into a fully serviced estate with roads, water and electricity, as well as provision of eleven (11) factory shell with total rentable space of 30 000m². The estates will include a police station, a commercial building and private stalls for smaller traders who will provide services to factory employees.

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