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NAP mitigates impact of BCL closure on its profits

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Property investment company New African Properties is focussing on the best management practices to sustain the company’s profitability on the back of the negative effects caused by the closure of Botswana Coal Limited mine in Selibe Phikwe. Commenting on the published results for the year ended July 2017, NAP Chairman John Mynhardt and Managing Director Tobias Mynhardt said the company has exposure to Selibe Phikwe which has been impacted by the closure of BCL last year.

“There has been an increase in both vacancies and arrears due to this and management is actively managing the affected properties to mitigate the impact as best as possible,” said Mynhardt. The exposure to Selibe Phikwe is 2.7 percent of the total property value and 3.4 percent of total rental at year end. The company has recorded five percent decline in profits to P199.4 million including non-distributable gains of P62.2 million against P82.4 million in 2016. Net asset value increased by five percent to P1.33 billion from P1.27 last year.

The company indicated that it has renewed 85 percent of leases expiring during the year at an average increase in line with normal escalations and re-let seven percent to new tenants at an average increase of 10.8 percent. Vacancies increased from 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent during the year and amounted to 4139 meter square at year end of which 424m2 has been let. Selibe Phikwe properties account for 1124 meter squared and 27 percent of total vacancies at year end. Mynhardt said the expiry of the leases in Selibe Phikwe is 64 percent, 14 percent and nine percent in each of the next three financial years and 13 percent thereafter.

The tenant composition by the end of the year was 53 percent listed and multinational companies, only one percent nationals, nine percent government and the balance of 37 percent smaller tenants.“It is however expected that the adverse conditions in Selibe Phikwe will continue and management will continue to focus on how best to manage this impact. NAP remains well positioned to fund developments and acquisitions with available debt capacity,” said Mynhardt.

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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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