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Kweneng District council sets trust to facilitate developments

Keikantse Lesemela

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Kweneng District Council has established a trust to assist the district council facilitating funding toward local economic empowerment, social uplifting and coordination of rural development programmes in the Kweneng district council

Through the trust, the Council will conduct fund raising projects and social awareness programmes, which include the walk for charity in April 2020. Kweneng Council Trust Administration Officer, Itumeleng Botlhoko told the Business Trends that they aim to develop council initiatives, which include funding and monitoring of funded projects to improve sustainability. “We have realized that most projects funded by council have some challenges and they require monitoring and sometimes cash injection and it is difficult for the council to do that. Through the trust we aim to raise funds to complement the government investment in social development.”

She said they aim to raise about P100 000 from the fund raising march. This is expected to usher in various interventions that will be implemented in the district. Individuals will be able to buy tickets from P50 per person while companies will be able to buy business promotion packages from P3000.

The Kweneng district has been divided into three sub districts; Lentsweletau, Letlhakeng and Molepolole.Under Lentsweletau sub district Botlhoko said currently there is a total of 661 beneficiaries who qualify for assistance under poverty eradication programme out of which 386 have been funded. 144 projects are operational, 238 are not operating while only 22 have been confirmed to have failed.

She said they have engaged officers in sub districts to identify interventions that can address issues of market saturation, professional competence and motivation. “Our priority goals are to increase success rate of programmes by five to 10 percent in the year 2020/21 and to develop a comprehensive range of socio-economic innovations that can strengthen capacity, secure markets and sustain trade in the micro-economy,” she said.

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Gov’t swiftly acts on BMC

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Government has moved swiftly to place Botswana Meat Commission under the care of a management firm; the move is meant to put the Commission into shape both operationally and financially.

This was disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, further stating the BMC is technically insolvent despite having received nearly P1billion as a bailout in recent times. The new management company will run BMC, which is based in Lobatse starting on the 2020/2021 financial year.

The finance minister made it crystal clear that, the move to appoint a caretaker firm for BMC was made to protect the interests of all stakeholders, including farmers. According to Matsheka, the Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti will provide more details on the BMC changes in due course during his committee of supply speech. Government is also proceeding with the conversion of BMC to a company under the Companies Act following the approval of BMC Transition Bill and subsequent repeal of the old Act.

The repealing of the BMC Act has since eliminated the monopoly of the Commission when it comes to beef and cattle export. The repeal has also enabled government to establish a beef regulator which will be responsible for regulating the beef and the cattle sector. “Another aspect of the transition is the ultimate privatization of BMC.

The objective of the privatization of BMC is, among others, to engage the private sector in the ownership and management of the BMC to achieve operational efficiency and profitability, as well as reduce Government’s future financial commitments in the entity. This would be an important process in the transformation of the beef and cattle sector,” noted Matsheka. BMC which is 100 percent owned by government has been operating with losses for many years due to internal and external challenges such as poor supply and Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD).

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BSE invite companies for CSD project

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Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has intentions to implement a new Central Securities Depository (CSD) system by the second quarter of next year.

Authorities at the bourse have already put out a call for companies to perform a post migration data verification and quality assessment from the current depository system to a new depository system set to go live in the first half of 2020.“As part of the project, the BSE is to migrate master data and reference data from the current system to the new CSD system,” said BSE in a statement released this week.

According to BSE, the project will include comprehension of the BSE Data Migration Strategy and Plan and data mapping design and rules, review of the data migration ETL processes, data quality verification completeness, accuracy, consistency, definition and scope of data to migrate. In addition, BSE said it will migrate only active or open transactions in the current system to the new system. The scope of open transactions includes active or running corporate actions, active investor accounts, investor account balances above zero, active participants, active issuers and active instruments.

Meanwhile, BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole is on record citing that the new CSD system comes with functionalities such as securities borrowing and lending (SBL), management of the settlement guarantee fund, initial public offering (IPO) processing, e-voting for listed entities, repo management and online investor access.

Commenced in the first quarter of 2019, the project is also an integral element of the ongoing single CSD project pioneered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority and BSE.

The system is also expected to help increase the CSD system ratings by Thomas Murray, an assessment of which will be conducted once the system has been commissioned in early 2020.

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