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BUSANG BRANDING BUSINESS MAKES WAVES

Keikantse Lesemela

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Driven by the zeal to generate money and create employment for other youth, Gofaone Busang decided to be an entrepreneur, specializing in branding solutions and events management services.

She started a branding business last year Sepmeber with just 100 glasses to sell in her home village Sefhophe. When she realised the high demand for the brand she started branding T-shirts and bucket hats. The business offers branding solutions for corporates and individuals, branding various merchandise items including t-shirts, glasses, cups, pens and others. “I wanted to maximize the holiday season and make cash whilst having fun, so I started by branding 100 glasses to sell at my home village Sefophe.

The glasses were branded ‘FACT SEFOPHE ROCKS’ and they got sold out. I then expanded to branding t-shirts and bucket hats to sell,” said Busang. Busang is an Event Planner with an Associate Degree in Event Management from Limkokwing University. She graduated in 2016 but has never got a job. She has offered her professional services of events management in several corporates and community activities including Gabane Youth Business Pitso since inception in 2016.

“I offer events management consultancy services, protocol and etiquette services and training, I have been offered such training to Gabane Youth Business Pitso since its inception. I have also been able to brand ‘FACT GABANE ROCKS’ and exhibit at the annual Gabane Youth Business Pitso thanks to the support of the GBYP committee who continually contribute to what I do and ensure I get the platform to showcase what I do,” she said.

She said starting up was not difficult. She just started her fast growing business with a measly P700. 00 “I had just got paid for a billboard advertising gig I did for Stanbic Bank when I thought of the idea. So I invested to kickstart the business”. Although the market is saturated, Busang said she is able to beat competition by working hard and perserverance. Her major clients are the youth and individuals as they love the creative ideas and style. “I work with different youth who offer different services; graphic designers, printers, photographers,” she said.

In future, Busang said she is planning to have her own textile manufacturing factory and stop importing from China. “ In the next five years I hope to have my own place of operation, with own machinery and expand the business into other parts of the country thus creating more jobs for other youth. I want to have my own factory, manufacturing t-shirts, bucket hats and other products so that I stop importing from China,” she stressed. Busang currently has a new branding label for t-shirts called “Hustleprenuer”.

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Botswana Railways hit by fuel theft

The MidweekSun Admin

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Botswana Railways CEO, Louis Makwinja

Botswana Railways lost fuel business due to continuous incidents of stolen fuel from the tanks and delays mainly at Mafikeng, in the north Western side of South Africa.

Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer Leonard Makwinja said, during 2017/2018, their biggest failure was in this area. “Our biggest failure in this aspect was on imports, transporting of fuel from South Africa proved to be a challenge.

There have been incidents of fuel loss on tankers, sometimes a delay in Mafikeng when trains changed and when it arrives in Botswana the tank would be half empty, “said Makwinja. He said this was worsened by allegations that road transportation was cheaper. Currently, they have employed a fuel consultant to look into the whole fuel transportation. “We believe a solution will be found soon.”

The BR Chief explained they heavily rely on the relationship with Transnet to successfully execute its freight mandate. Most of the imports through rail come from South Africa and the main export through rail which is salt and soda ash is transported from Botash to Mafikeng. “Going onwards we have to depend on Transnet for connections to the respective destinations. Our strategic plan going forward is to improve our services to the oil companies so that we are more reliable, timely and profitable.”

During the period, Makwinja said they had to focus on cost containment. The main cost drivers are staff cost, fuel and maintenance of the locomotives. In his statement on Botswana Railways 2018 annual report, Makwinja said the organization’s performance was subdued due to lack of capacity to meet the demand. “In terms of tonnage, our target was 2 million tons but we only achieved 1, 5 million tons. This adverse variance can be attributed to a number of factors including lack of sufficient locomotives and practicing conservative business initiatives and marketing,” he said.

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Calls to improve crop yields with technology

Keikantse Lesemela

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Greenhouse Technologies managing director, Amanda Masire has urged entrepreneurs to venture into agriculture as it is a lucrative business and more beneficial to the national economic development, despite climate change challenges.

Speaking to Business Trends, Masire said there is a need for more training and knowledge on modern agriculture technologies for the country to have sustainable food production. “I am passionate about agriculture and food production. I want to help my country to produce food for itself and reduce dependency on imports. I have learnt that despite all the challenges of climate change, we can still produce our own food through the use of modern technologies,” said Masire.

Masire is an agri-business developer, specializing in horticulture, beekeeping and fish farming. She currently operates Greenhouse Farmers Academy offering training and mentorship on horticulture farming. “Agriculture is the most lucrative business that young people should be looking into. Currently, we depend much on South Africa. We should rise up and develop the sector because as Batswana we have rich land that we are not utilising.” Her services include horticulture starter kit, which includes business plans, lessons, fertilisers and all equipments necessary for a particular horticulture project.

She is currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security to develop the ISPAAD Program. She said government would embrace modern farming technologies to improve food production. “Most Batswana have lands which they are currently not ploughing because of climate change conditions while the government gives out fertilizers and seeds every year to subsistence farmers yet there is no yield. I have come up with solutions, which include testing soil and supplying lime treatment to reduce acidity. This will help improve crop yield when adopted with other technologies,” she said.

Speaking during Stanbic Lionness Lean In Africa, Masire said with the challenges in the agriculture sector, Batswana should stop looking much into the problems and getting discouraged but should rather think of solutions. “Government is trying but we individuals also need to be innovative and assist government in improving food security. Young people should take opportunity of the agri-business market and reduce unemployment,” said Masire.

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