Connect with us

Business

Botswana Post ups the ante on its property portfolio

Published

on

BotswanaPost’s corporate objective of unlocking value from its property portfolio remains top priority; as it continues to diversify its revenue streams as a strategy under guard to move towards self-sustenance, Business Trends has learnt.

As a result of the lack of recapitalisation funding, which has stifled the BotswanaPost business initiative and prospective ventures especially in implementing the property strategy – that has been ready since 2012 – the property segment has been lagging behind.

Responding to Business Trends inquiries around the portfolio, BotswanaPost’s Head of Corporate Communications, Lebogang Bok said they have now adopted a double pronged approach to look for recapitalisation from the shareholders as well as leveraging other partnerships.

This takes into account the negative impact the recent recession has had on government coffers, and the sheer size of government responsibility. “By nature, property development requires a huge initial capital outlay. Given the well documented shareholder funding challenges not only to BotswanaPost, the immediate and realistic option is to aggressively pursue leverage of partnerships on properties which the Government vested to Botswana Postal Services back in 1989 and registering newly acquired land with Deeds Registry,” she indicated.  

Upon concluding with partners, Bok revealed that implementation of the property strategy is expected to accrue short term gains annually from ground rental and in the long term realise full value when the property reverts to Botswana Postal Services. In its 2014/15 annual report, the then BotswanaPost Chief Executive Officer, Pele Moleta indicated that they had taken stock of all their properties in the country.

It became evident that in some localities BotswanaPost is sitting on high value commercial land that could be developed when funding is available. “We have explored other avenues of developing property without relying on government but realised that this option carries increased risks.

And unless we are in a position to negotiate with prospective partners from a position of strength; it would be preferable to shelve these projects for the time being,” Moleta indicted in the report.

BotswanaPost’s assets recorded an 8 percent decline to P433.7milllion in the financial year 2014/15 from P473.5million in the prior year; whilst in 2012 the assets sat at P340.3million.

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

Published

on

Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

Continue Reading

Business

MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

Published

on

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

Continue Reading

Trending