The 2018/19 financial year budget points to a constrained fiscal space, which continues to characterise the domestic economy. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo says this is mainly a result of slow growth in revenues, coupled with continued expenditure pressures due to additional budgetary requirements by various Ministries.
“Total revenues and grants for the 2018/19 financial year are estimated at P58.81 billion, with the largest amount of P19.67 billion of the total revenues expected to be accounted for by mineral revenue.”For the financial year 2016/17, total revenue and grants amounted to P56.8billion, which represented 2.0 percent over the target of P55.9billion estimated in the revised budget.
Of this amount, 39.6percent was mineral revenue; 20.8 percent customs and excise;16,8 percent non-mineral income tax; 11.6percent Value Added Tax and 5,0 percent Bank of Botswana (BoB) revenue. Except for mineral, customs and excise and BoB revenue items, the performance of most revenue items in the budget outturn were below their targets.
Mineral revenue outperformed its target in the revised budget by 8.0 percent due to increased mineral tax received during the financial year following sale of the diamond inventory. Meanwhile, for the 2018/19 financial year, the budget strategy paper by Minister Matambo outlines that Customs and excise is projected to account for the second largest share of total revenue at P14.00billion, which translates to 23.8 percent.
This will be followed by non-mineral income tax at P13.36billion (22.7 percent) and VAT at P8.11billion (23.8 percent) of the total. The remaining 6.3 percent of the total revenues expected in 2018/19 financial year will come from BoB, as expected earnings on government investment account of the foreign exchange reserves and other revenues, which is mainly property income taxes, fees and grants from donors and development partners.
Matambo called for prudent spending by government ministries and departments. “We need a budget that provides for better infrastructure, stimulates economic activities and create employment opportunities,” he said. He also called for close monitoring of expenditures to ensure that there is value for money.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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