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Tati Nickel not closing down

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Tati Nickel mine in Francistown has vehemently rubbished widespread allegations that it is on the brink of liquidation and closure. Public Relations manager, Tebogo Rapitsenyane informed The Midweek Sun that the company is not bankrupt or on the brink of closure.

“When the Bamangwato Concession Limited (BCL) smelter went under major refurbishments last year, we were producing but not selling anything which resulted in the mine experiencing cashflow problems,” he said, further noting that, “our ore was stock piled as we waited for the smelter to be completed and the whole process of refurbishment took roughly four months as we only started to use it in November last year.”

Rapitsenyane argued that it was also good for the smelter which has been in operation for some decades to be refurbished as new components and parts were installed.

He said that during that time there was no money coming into the mine. Instead the mine had to pay staff salaries and became indebted to its various suppliers whom he said understood their woes. Rapitsenyane also stressed that as a result of the declining prices of metals, it will take the mine some time to recover.

“For the mine to come out of the cash flow problem, we have decided to strategise by implementing strict cash control measures. These include suspending further training and recruitment of staff to save whatever little cashflow we have.” According to Rapitsenyane the mine has experienced worst challenges before and there is no need for people to press panic buttons unnecessarily. He argued, “Metal prices are going down every year and despite this, retrenchment has never been on our menu since the mine is not indebted to any bank for any major loans. We normally apply for small loans in various local banks to ease pressure of cash flow when faced with such problems.’’

He revealed that the mine plant is fully paid for and that the only expenditure they incur are monthly staff salaries, paying suppliers and maintenance of available transportation and other in-house equipment.

“Since government is a major shareholder in the company, Tati Nickel found nothing wrong to inform the responsible ministry of its current cashflow woes which will soon be water under the bridge. We never begged the government to bail us out financially as it is rumoured, but only informed them of our situation as our main partner,” he clarified.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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