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Premier Clothing awarded ISO certification

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Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) has awarded Premier Clothing (Pty) Ltd Botswana an International Organisation for Standardisation Certification (ISO 9001:2015). Premier Clothing is the leading manufacturer of Work wear, Corporate wear, uniforms and PPE in Botswana. Since its establishment in 1982, Premier Clothing has been supplying Botswana from individual level to the different sectors of the workforce including; ministries, government departments, local district councils, the military, police and mines with high quality uniforms, protective clothing and work wear.

Speaking at the handover ceremony last week, BOBS Managing Director, Masego Marobela said that she was pleased with issuing the Quality Management System (QMS) certificate to an organisation whose mandate is to ensure safety through provision of quality wear. Marobela said with certification being a process that requires commitment, dedication and ownership from top management and cascading to all levels of organisation, Premier Clothing which is the first privately owned company to receive such certification; has shown unwavering commitment.

The BOBS supremo advised that many organisations around the world are having their products and management systems certified in recognition of the importance of providing products and services. Premier Clothing Chief Executive Officer, Fazul Zahir said being awarded the latest international standard shows remarkable progress. “Achieving this certification represents a major milestone for our organisation and demonstrates our full commitment to quality in all the services that we provide,” said Zahir. He says the certification will come in handy and create opportunity as they unfold their plans to commence exportation of their products. “We are continuously re-investing in order to upgrade its machinery and to train their staff to produce a better quality garment while at the same time making it more cost-effective and economical to the end consumer,” he said. Premier Clothing is also the only company in the country to be dual certified with SABS SANS 434:2016 Product certification as well.

“This enables us to procure a large share of the export market in SADC and SACU region where our garments, quality and services are highly appreciated by all our customers. This has also enabled us to penetrate the European and American markets.” Furthermore, Premier Clothing is engaged in diversification of the local manufacturing base in order to augment our range of products as demand is recognised. “Through our continuous improvement in processes, equipment and skills, we believe that we can play a greater and even more significant role in Botswana’s future economic development,” Zahir said.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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