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KFC acquisition above board, says Dixon-Warren

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Local companies have raised concerns over the liquidated KFC franchise in Botswana, which has been acquired by South African company, Baobab Khulisani. In November last year, Bradlymore, a joint venture company between Vivo Energy and Baobab Khulisani South Africa, acquired KFC Botswana from the liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren.

Vivo Energy through its network of Shell-branded retail service stations in Botswana is a marketer of various oil products including retail fuels, commercial fuels and lubricants. On the other hand, Baobab Khulisani, a South African KFC franchisee operates 11 stores in South Africa. Speaking during the public hearing at Competition Authority on Friday, one of the local bidders, Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan questioned how the liquidator chose the other company over them and how it was also given an opportunity to increase its bid but the local companies were not.

The liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren said there were no reservations for citizen companies and the deal was subject to the Fraanchiser’s interest on which bid should be approved. He said his judgement was not compromised because he has satisfied all the requirements as per the liquidation process and laws in Botswana. “We cannot share the price of the preferred bidder because it is confidential information.

In this liquidation process we have checked with Ministry of Investment and Trade if there are specific reservations for citizen companies for these franchise but we couldn’t find any so the bid was open to international companies and we had 65 respondents. The process was completely fair,” said Dixon-Warren. Chief Executive of Competition Authority, Tebelelo Pule said they are still assessing the acquisition and will make the final decision in due time. “Normal assessment would be ongoing so this public hearing would not affect the final decision.

“This hearing is intended to allow the parties to the transaction to make verbal representations to the Authority with respect to the transaction as well as allow their competitors and the general public to express their views on the acquisition,” said Pule. The KFC Botswana portfolio, which consists of 12 restaurants and two new stores, are yet to open this year, in Pilane Mall and Mowana Mall. The business was placed under liquidation in June last year after the company failed to service its debts and creditors.

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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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