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Bokomo’s new plant to increase output

Keikantse Lesemela

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Bokomo's refurbished plant Source:The Midweek Sun

Local Fast moving consumer goods manufacturer and distributer, Bokomo Botswana announced that its new milling plant would improve their production capacity by over five percent.

Chief Executive Officer, Werner de Beer said through the upgrade, Bokomo can continue to provide quality products at increased quantities. “This for us is a significant step in the right direction as we are now better placed to meet demand of our products. The efficiencies unlocked by this upgrade will culminate in improved productivity, which will reduce cost pressures that will in the long run lead to price savings for the end consumer,” said De Beer.

The company invested P3 million on the refurbishment of the plant. De Beer told Business Trends that currently the company produces over 7 000 tonnes of maize meal and 3 000 tonnes of flour per month. The company distributes more than 849 consumer products in Botswana and currently manufacturers white star maize meal, Bokomo special maize meal, samp and maize rice among other products.

With the high production capacity, De Beer said they source most of the raw materials from South Africa and other countries, as local produce is not enough for their production. “We have a policy to supply local farmers but unfortunately they can only provide six percent of our demand. Currently, we buy from Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) but it is not sufficient so we import most of our maize and wheat,” he told Business Trends.

Bokomo Botswana Operations Manager, Jaco Venter said the mill upgrade would have a significant positive impact on the operations. “This upgrade will result in enhanced performance of our plant as we are now confidently able to work with larger quantities at an efficient pace and will enable us to increase our contribution to the supply and demand chains within the country,” he said.

Recently the company was awarded the ISO 901:2015 certificate by Botswana Bureau of Standards. De Beer highlighted that they continuously strive for excellence in their production. “It is therefore a proud achievement to have been certified as compliant with international standards of quality. This award has given us the confidence to do more as well as afforded our customers the assurance that Bokomo products are of the highest quality,” noted De Beer.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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