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BHC revenue on the decline

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The Botswana Housing Corporation’s total revenue for the financial year ended 31stMarch 2017 has recorded a nine percent decline. The Corporation’s total revenues reached a low of P493 million, when compared to the P539 million recorded in the prior year. According to the Corporation’s financial statement by its General Manager, Reginald Motswaiso, the decrease was mainly driven by sales revenue which decreased by a significant P43 million or 13 percent, from P326 million to P284 million.

In the prior year, sales revenue was high in comparison with other years and the largest contributor was the Phakalane project. “The Phakalane project was delivered late due to water and sewage impasse experienced in 2012 and a majority of these properties were sold in 2016. The total number of houses sold in 2016/17 was 395 units. “Rental revenue declined by 3 percent, from P182 million in 2015/16 to the current P177 million.

The decline was mainly caused by a once off sale of a major estate in the prior year, which was generating an annual rental of P2.4 million,” reads the financial statement. Gains from the sale of investment properties were P18 million, a decline of 83 percent from P107 million in 2016, still on the back of this once off sale. Rental revenue continues to be a significant and key revenue stream for the Corporation and it is the pillar of the Corporation’s sustainability model.

Income from professional fees at P30 million increased by 10 percent when compared to prior year. Professional fees are revenues from project management done on behalf of third parties. This is the third largest revenue stream for BHC and demonstrates BHC’s ability to use its skilled workforce to deliver projects on behalf of other people.

Professional fee income has grown over the years and it is part of management’s revenue diversification strategy going into the future. On the expenditure side, employee expenses went down by 30 percent mainly as a result of restructuring expenses which were incurred in the prior year. Employee expenses also declined on the back of efficiencies brought about by the re-organisation of the Corporation. Other expenses also went down by 11 percent and this combined with savings in employee expenses largely contributed to the increase in profitability.

Meanwhile, the Corporation recently developed a six year Strategy from 2018 – 2023. The major strategic focus going forward is delivery of the new mandate which clearly encompasses the social housing aspect. In the strategy period BHC is expected to deliver an average of 1500 social housing projects and 1800 commercial housing projects per annum.

Through the Corporation’s six year Strategy some key priority areas have been identified and these are mainly; developing new partnerships with the private sector in housing delivery; responding to customer needs by building/designing for specific markets; serving the unserved markets, especially low income groups; exploring alternative technologies and optimisation of BHC’s research capabilities. These strategic priority areas will ensure focus in delivering the strategic plan and will guide Management in the implementation of the long-term Strategy.

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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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