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Time Projects to erect new business hub in Setlhoa Park

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Time Projects’ new office park in Setlhoa village in Block 10 will be the new business hub in Gaborone North with capacity to create about 100 jobs for citizens in its construction phase. The development, Pinnacle Park consists of customised 150-meter square to 600-meter square offices and showrooms that will be for sale and rental. The P150 million project is expected to commence beginning August and complete by July 2019. In an interview with the Business Trends, Time Projects Commercial Manager, Brett Marlin said they wanted to offer low rank office parks with a lot of space and landscaping similar to offices in South Africa. “We realised that there is lack of office space for people in the Northern side of the capital, so we wanted to cater for those people so they do not have to travel long distance to the Central Business District or Fairgrounds. We believe that Setlhoa is going to be the new hub in Gaborone North,” said Marlin.

He highlighted that the development would be carried out by citizen contractors. “ We are going to place an expression of interest in two weeks time and we are looking for local contractors only. We do not use South African contractors because we believe we have enough skilled citizen contractors,” said Marlin. Currently, the company has completed the design phase of the project and have started construction on the smaller Setlhoa plot with a retail park concept for the home décor and design sector. Meanwhile, two smaller extensions to existing centres are also underway with a one-shop extension at Sebele Centre and a fast food drive-through at Pilane Crossing where KFC will be opening.

In its half-year ended February 2018, Prime Time Holdings recorded 18 percent increase in rental income. However, profits declined to P12.7 million from P18.4 million in the prior period. The company stated that several significant tenants have been able to open at Pilane Crossing after obtaining their trading licences PEP, Ackermans, Clicks and Jet all opened in the first quarter of 2017. The company stated that however, it will still take some time to stabilise after its rocky start, but with the new KFC drive through due to open shortly it is looking more positive. Marlin also highlighted that they are planning to expand Pilane Mall by up to 700 square meters as the property is now fully let. “ We are working on expanding the mall in two months time,” he said.

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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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