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WUC new App makes payments easier

Irene Shone

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Mmetla Masire, WUC CEO Source:The Midweek Sun

Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) last week introduced a new App, dubbed WUCapp, to allow clients to easily access their services and also access available service platforms.

CEO of the Corporation, Mmetla Masire said they have introduced self-service platforms in 2017, to allow their customers full control over the full process so they can pay anytime and anywhere using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

“We want our customers to find the right gateway for themselves and their businesses,” he explained. Masire said they recognise how important and convenient these platforms are. He said that through the USSD service which is accessed by *186# from cell phones and their website www.wuc.bw, customers are able to check and pay bills, report leakages and pipe burst as well as update their account details.

Masire said that introducing WUCapp meant a lot to then, which unlike *186#, can be accessed through all phones. He clarified that the WUCapp operates on smart phones and would be accessed similarly with apps like Whatsapp. Therefore he said that he expected the app to be utilised. “I am confident that what we are gathering to launch, is a product that fits perfectly with our strategy to be a world class water utility,” said Masire.

Masire also noted that their call volume went up in their contact centre, with customers requesting for customer numbers and contact numbers. He urged customers to understand that these numbers ease their water payment processes. “They are all available in your water statement. The good thing is that once the contract has been used, the website or even the smart phone can remember it the next time a customer needs to do something that relates to their water account,” he explained.

WUC toll-free number is 0800 555 555, which he also encouraged clients to always use through their telephones and cell phones. He acknowledged their strategic partners, First National Bank of Botswana, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Botswana Post which provide online banking, App, website and other payment options simultaneously.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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