Botswana's Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Honourable Shaw Kgathi on 10 July, 2019, visited the construction site of the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot in Rasesa village, on the outskirts of Gaborone, to appreciate the progress made in the development of the facility.
Honourable Kgathi was taken on a tour of the facility by Director of Organ, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Jorge Cardoso, on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary. Mr Cardoso informed the Minister that phase one (I) of development of the depot, which was erection of the fence and bush clearing, has been completed.
Mr Cardoso briefed the Minister that SADC Member States have committed to contribute 10 million USD towards construction of the depot. He indicated that the phase 2 (II) of development has started and is at tendering stage. Actual construction is earmarked to commence in May 2020 with the expectation that Initial Operational Capability (IOC) to be attained by 2021 while Full Operational Capability is expected by 2023.
Hon. Kgathi commended the SADC Secretariat for the remarkable progress made in the development of the facility. He reiterated the Government of Botswana's commitment to support the completion of the project. He thanked Chief Letshwenyo Rasesa, and his subjects for allocating land for the project of such magnitude.
Chief Letshwenyo Rasesa, who accompanied the Minister for the tour, thanked the SADC Secretariat for its constant consultations and for keeping the village leadership, abreast of the developments of the depot.
The SADC Standby Force was officially launched at the 27th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, Zambia in August, 2007. The decision to establish a SADC Regional Logistics Depot in Botswana was proposed by SADC Defence Chiefs in 2006. As a result, the Republic of Botswana allocated 19 hectares of land in Rasesa village in the Kgatleng Tribal Area for the project.
The Regional Logistics Depot will provide storage receipt, inspection and maintenance of equipment/materiel for all components of the SADC Standby Force.