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Letlole La Rona buys Watershed Piazza Mall

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Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of Watershed Piazza Mall in Mahalapye for P149 million by public property investment company, Letlole La Rona (LLR). Acting Chief Executive of the Competition Authority, Magdeline Gabaraane said the proposed transaction is not likely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition, or endanger the continuity of the services offered in the market. “Furthermore, no public interest concerns have been identified. Pursuant to the provisions of section 60 of the Competition Act, the Authority has approved the acquisition by Letlole La Rona Limited of the Watershed Piazza Shopping Mall, together with underlying leases and the right to collect rental, from its current owner, Jus Posh Investments (Pty) Ltd,” said Gabaraane in a statement.

The acquisition comes after the Competition Authority approved the purchase of Watershed Piazza mall by New African Properties (NAP) in November last year. However, the Authority stated that it is aware of a case that is before the courts relating to a shareholder dispute on the ownership of the Watershed Piazza Shopping Mall whose outcome might have a bearing on the decision of the Authority in the current transaction, and will therefore be followed closely. “The Authority therefore draws the parties’ attention to the right it has under section 62(1)(a) of the Act to revoke a merger approval if the grounds for revocation stipulated therein exist.

As stated under section 66 of the Act, this approval does not override or negate any other mandatory statutory approvals or processes that any of the parties to this merger must comply with under the Laws of Botswana,” reads the statement. Watershed Piazza Mall was owned by Jus Posh, a private company which is not in the business of long-term property investment. The company developed the property with the intention of selling it to an appropriate investor. Jus Posh is wholly owned by Seloma Tiro, a Motswana. The Authority has also unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition by Letlole La Rona Limited of Lot 64260, Block 3 Industrial Site together with all land, buildings and improvements from Top Light Investments (Pty) Ltd.

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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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