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Sefalana’s Commercial Motors relocates to Setlhoa

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Sefalana Group has announced that it is planning to relocate Commercial Motors to the Setlhoa properties along the A1 road to give it better visibility and exposure to customers because it is currently not doing well in Broadhurst. Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan said the performance of the company is very much dependent on government tenders placed in the market.

He said the relocation of the showroom would give them better visibility and exposure to customers. “We are exploring the viability of moving the showroom to the A1 road at Setlhoa village which we believe will give our motor division better visibility and exposure,” said Chauhan. The overall contribution recorded under this trading segments which consists of Commercial Motors (Pty) Ltd and Mechanised Farming (Pty) Ltd was significantly lower than the previous year. The segment contributed three percent of both profit and turnover to the group’s financial year ended April 2017 results.

Total profit before tax was P5 million in 2017 declining from P17.9 million recorded last year. “The values of the tenders this year were significantly lower than the prior year. Overall results for the year from this business were disappointing,” said Chauhan. However he said regular income from servicing of vehicles and sale of parts was achieved and continues to grow.

The group is planning to commence construction of series of warehouses in Setlhoa village by the end of 2017. Chauhan said this is likely to include a flagship Sefalana Shopper Store along with a number of strong high street names, which is expected to attract additional fleet to the area. He said the Mechanised Farming recorded satisfactory results as the number of tractors were sold during the year and the product range for farming implements was extended. The company has entered into agreement with Botswana Railways to supply 8 locomotives. “This is however a medium term project that will only generate profits for the company in the forthcoming year,” he said.

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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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