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PPADB fights corruption in procurement

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 Batswana have been called upon to take an active part in fighting corruption in tenders by reporting suspicious conduct. Since December 2017, PPADB has received four tip off reports trough their Tip-off Anonymous Service; all of which are under investigation; Business trends has learnt. The service that was launched last year in July has a proven track record in preventing and fighting corruption. It is currently implemented through a third party, Deloitte. In an interaction with the media on Monday, the Executive Chairperson of PPADB, Bridget John said corruption thrives on secrecy.

“Through this service, we wish to make transparency and accountability recognised, key conditions for promoting integrity and preventing corruption in public procurement.” This whistle blowing policy, is viewed as key in public procurement to enable stakeholders to be able to report matters relating to improper, unethical and inappropriate conduct in tendering. Amongst other means of eliminating corruption talk, an Integrity Office is still being established to provide more focus on ethical conduct and come up with anti-corruption measures.

“Efforts are ongoing to identify a suitable candidate to head the office,” John highlighted. She further urged the media to encourage the public to use the service to report any unethical or inappropriate conduct in tenders by contractors, PPADB staff, and those holding public office. “Corruption perception in licensing and public contracts is becoming a major concern as per the Global Competitiveness Study and needs to be addressed,” she says, and further alludes that transparency, proper procurement planning, adherence to plans, and competitive bidding will go a long way in improving public confidence in tenders and reducing corruption perception. Amongst its yearly milestones, the IPMS (e-Bidding) is also slowly gaining momentum with up to 34 tenders processed online since inception last year.

“Uptake expected to increase in 2018 with more training and awareness building as well as system agility and availability. The e-Bidding roll out plan is expected to run for three years until all Procuring Entities are able to manage online bidding without much support. She noted one major challenge as internet connectivity, accessibility, and availability of suitable ICT infrastructure equipment which she says slows down the IPMS roll out. “PPADB is poised to become a high performing organisation that will more effectively facilitate value for money procurement for Botswana to realise its development goals,” John said.

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Cell City rewards customers

Keikantse Lesemela

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Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.

In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.

All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.

“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.

“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.

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Smecha chillie hits the shelves

Keikantse Lesemela

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For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.

She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.

She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae

The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.

She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.

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