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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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UN, De Beers launch programme for Women

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The most recent opportunity for women entrepreneurs is the United Nations (UN) and De Beers project – a three-year capacity-building programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Launched last month, the project is tailored specifically for each country, and is expected to be delivered with local implementation partners and focus on regions that have high levels of unemployment and where formal job opportunities are limited.

“Through these programmes, we hope to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills, training and confidence to build successful and sustainable businesses,” said Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Group. Cleaver believes the project will help prop up communities’ economic activities, as women are proven to reinvest more of their income back into the community and to actively support the creation of jobs for others.

According to De Beers Group the beneficiaries will be equipped with management skills to build confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. Anne Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-Country Office said the programme aims to complement national efforts on job creation and economic empowerment of women.

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment, particularly with women in the informal sector, sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” said Shongwe.

She further said investing in the capacity development of women micro-entrepreneurs leads to women having higher incomes, better access to and control over resources.

The programme is part of De Beers Group’s three-year partnership with UN Women, which includes a US$3 million investment to advance women and girls in De Beers Group’s diamond producing countries, announced in September last year. Over the past years women pioneers who have passionately grown local businesses include, Theresa Mokoka, renowned female farmer in Kweneng, Nkata Seleka, founder and owner of Sleek Foods, among others.

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Seed Co lists on the BSEL bourse

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Seed Co, the Africa-focused seed company has listed its shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) effective 5th October 2018. The shares for the Zimbabwean based company started trading on the same day.

“This is a primary listing by way of introduction of the issued share capital of Seed Co, comprising of 379,331,127 of ordinary shares on the main Board of the BSEL,” reads BSEL media statement. Seed Co is a leading certified seed company authorized to market seed varieties developed by itself, government and other associated seed breeders in over fifteen (15) African countries. The company is involved in the breeding, multiplication and distribution of mainly hybrid seed varieties.

In commenting on this milestone by Seed Co, the Chief Executive Officer of BSEL Thapelo Tsheole highlighted that, “this reinforces the value of listing companies on the exchange as this listing reiterates that for companies that wish to raise capital or increase visibility in the market, the stock exchange is the right avenue”. He further said BSEL is happy to welcome a company of Seed Co’s stature to the market.

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