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Letlole La Rona buys Mahalapye’s WaterShed Mall

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Public property investment company, Letlole La Rona (LLR) announced that the acquisition of WaterShed Mall in Mahalapye will provide it with an opportunity to diversify its retail portfolio and increase it to 25 percent. In a statement LLR states that it has entered into the sale agreement with Jus Posh Investment for the acquisition of the retail property, which includes all land, buildings and improvements of Watershed Piazza mall. “The transaction further provides LLR with a growth opportunity and will enhance the company’s earning and in turn improve distribution to unit-holders,” reads the statement.

The acquisition comes after the Competition Authority approved the purchase of Watershed Piazza mall by New African Properties (NAP) in November last year. Competition Authority Mergers and Monopolies Manager, Nomathemba Dladla said the Authority is currently assessing the acquisition by LLR. “In early December 2017, the parties informed the Authority that the deal did not go through as planned and a new partner had been established to take over the property.

Consequently, a submission was made in December 2017 where the Watershed Piazza Shopping Mall would now be acquired by Letlole La Rona. The Authority is therefore currently assessing the acquisition of Watershed by Letlole La Rona,” said Dladla. Jus Posh, the target enterprise, is a private company incorporated with limited liability in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Botswana. Furthermore, Jus Posh are primarily speculators in the property business and had developed the property with the intention of selling it to an appropriate investor. The company is not in the business of long-term property investment. Jus Posh is wholly owned by Seloma Tiro, a Motswana.

The acquiring enterprise LLR is a public company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. Major unit-holders of LLR include Botswana Development Corporation Limited (BDC); FNB Botswana nominees (Pty) Ltd; Delta International Mauritius Limited; Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and FNB Nominees (Pty) Ltd. LLR portfolio comprises 44 percent industrial, 34 percent leisure, 10 percent retail, seven percent office and three percent residential. LLR is the largest investor in industrial and hotel space of the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed property funds and these sectors have been resilient despite the current challenging trading environment.

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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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