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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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UN, De Beers launch programme for Women

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The most recent opportunity for women entrepreneurs is the United Nations (UN) and De Beers project – a three-year capacity-building programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Launched last month, the project is tailored specifically for each country, and is expected to be delivered with local implementation partners and focus on regions that have high levels of unemployment and where formal job opportunities are limited.

“Through these programmes, we hope to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills, training and confidence to build successful and sustainable businesses,” said Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Group. Cleaver believes the project will help prop up communities’ economic activities, as women are proven to reinvest more of their income back into the community and to actively support the creation of jobs for others.

According to De Beers Group the beneficiaries will be equipped with management skills to build confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. Anne Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-Country Office said the programme aims to complement national efforts on job creation and economic empowerment of women.

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment, particularly with women in the informal sector, sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” said Shongwe.

She further said investing in the capacity development of women micro-entrepreneurs leads to women having higher incomes, better access to and control over resources.

The programme is part of De Beers Group’s three-year partnership with UN Women, which includes a US$3 million investment to advance women and girls in De Beers Group’s diamond producing countries, announced in September last year. Over the past years women pioneers who have passionately grown local businesses include, Theresa Mokoka, renowned female farmer in Kweneng, Nkata Seleka, founder and owner of Sleek Foods, among others.

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Seed Co lists on the BSEL bourse

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Seed Co, the Africa-focused seed company has listed its shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) effective 5th October 2018. The shares for the Zimbabwean based company started trading on the same day.

“This is a primary listing by way of introduction of the issued share capital of Seed Co, comprising of 379,331,127 of ordinary shares on the main Board of the BSEL,” reads BSEL media statement. Seed Co is a leading certified seed company authorized to market seed varieties developed by itself, government and other associated seed breeders in over fifteen (15) African countries. The company is involved in the breeding, multiplication and distribution of mainly hybrid seed varieties.

In commenting on this milestone by Seed Co, the Chief Executive Officer of BSEL Thapelo Tsheole highlighted that, “this reinforces the value of listing companies on the exchange as this listing reiterates that for companies that wish to raise capital or increase visibility in the market, the stock exchange is the right avenue”. He further said BSEL is happy to welcome a company of Seed Co’s stature to the market.

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