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HRDC budget balloons

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The newly established Human Resource Development Council’s (HRDC) total budget for the financial year 2014/15 has reached P82.7million. Its revenue for the 2014/15 period reached P66.2million compared to P38.8million in the previous year, Business Trends can reveal.

According to its 2014/15 financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2015, the larger part of the money for this knowledge-based organisation went to personnel emoluments and related items at P29.6million, representing 36 percent of the total budget.

HRDC is a bigger entity in terms of mandate and staff establishment and therefore had to request for more financial resources from government and other stakeholders. In particular, the significant change in the resourcing of HRDC came from the 10 percent administration fee for human resource development fund that amounted to P29million in 2014/15 financial year.

The government grant also increased from P25million in the previous year to P29million. The total budget for the year was therefore P82.7million. The report indicates that, “as a result of the ongoing transaction, a total of P9.9million was provided as restricting costs. The second major expenditure was on consultancy services, which increased from P1million to P2.7million as well as research, and development costs which increased from P0.55million in the prior financial year to P1million in the year under review. These were small grants given to Education and Training Institutions to promote research at institutional level.”

HRDC is led by Patrick Molutsi who has been acting Chief Executive Officer since its establishment from the then Tertiary Education Council (TEC) in November 2013. Molutsi is confident that their portfolio of projects will deliver value and impact the nation’s advancement into the post 50 year  period positively.

He said the journey of this transition has been a long and tedious one; and just like all journeys, “unfortunately, there have been those who were lost on the way. We are earnestly excited. This has been the awarding transition stage from which we are well placed to implement the mandate of the HRDC and impact on the quality of life of every citizen of Botswana. We are currently scaling up our operations and implementing the National Human Resource Development Strategy.”

During the year under review, the HRDC had managed to establish and strengthen close working relationships with Statistics Botswana, Bank of Botswana, British Council, Ministries of Labour and Home Affairs; Trade and Industry; and Finance and Development Planning among others. These strategic partnerships have been critical in HRDC’s successful establishment of Sector Human Resource Development Committees and their work.

The HRDC in November 2015 launched new Board of Directors, and bid farewell to the interim Board members who started the Council in 2013. Dr Kegalale Gasennelwe who then handed to Batho Chris Molomo headed the interim.

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Engen profit goes up

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Engen Botswana, the only listed petroleum company is expecting better results for the six months to June 2018 as a result of favourable trading environment. For the six months period to June 2017, the company made a profit of P55,2 million.

Engen, which supplies petroleum products to retail and institutional clients said, compared to the same period in 2017, profits will be higher on the backdrop of rising international crude oil prices. According to available data, oil prices jumped by 20 percent in the first six months of the year to close at $73 per barrel. Yesterday (Tuesday), oil prices were hovering at $77 per barrel.

The firm, like its peers has also been bolstered by government decision to hike petroleum prices in May. Petrol went up by 23 thebe, 45 thebe for diesel and 38 thebe for paraffin, all per litre. Eric Molale, the minister responsible for petroleum products in the country did not rule out any price increase in the foreseeable future on the backdrop of rising international oil prices.

Local users of petroleum products are not even saved by the fact that the National Petroleum Fund-which cushions customers against increasing oil prices, is fast running dry due to alleged misappropriation by those tasked with maintaining it (the Fund).

Meanwhile, Engen which is headed by Chimweta Moonga has told its shareholders that results will be out before this month ends. “Therefore shareholders are advised to exercise caution when trading in the group securities until such time as a detailed announcement is made,” said a statement from the BSE listed firm.

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Graduates urged to be innovative

Keikantse Lesemela

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Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) President, Verily Molatedi has urged graduates to look beyond job seeking and come up with creative and innovative ways to create employment and contribute to economic development.

This Monday, over 400 students graduated from Imperial School of Business and Science (ISBS) from different fields including business management, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), finance and banking, human resource management, tourism and hospitality management and advertising. The ceremony was the first batch of students who completed degree programmes in ISBS.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Molatedi said the 21st century is awash with many opportunities and challenges but it is only the optimistic that can rise above and turn challenges into opportunities. “I therefore urge all graduates to acknowledge and take advantage of the government efforts in providing facilities beyond tertiary education and contribute towards economic diversification. To this end some of you may have to be entrepreneurs,” said Molatedi.

Molatedi explained that with over 10 000 graduates annually produced in tertiary institutions, graduates must continually build their skills and think innovatively and create their own brands as this will increase their chances of employability globally.

“Employability is about making sure that you diversify your skills, get knowledge for the industry. It is the key to realizing our economic diversification agenda, and hinges on your availability to be enablers in the country’s present and future economy,” said Molatedi.

Imperial School of Business and Science Director, Nidheesh Sharma said graduates have unique professional identity and a set of values and beliefs that will allow them to continue their quest for lifelong learning and distinguish themselves in their chosen paths as the faculties offered are globally recognized.

“Previously we have had many students completing certificates and diploma programmes but this is the first batch to have completed degree programmes. Graduating annually, young professionals were imparted with the knowledge and skills that are required by the regional and global job market,” said Sharma.

Sharma highlighted that ISBS started in 2003 as a BOTA registered institute and in 2011 it registered with Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and started offering Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programmes. “In 2013, the school re-branded from its old name to current name, ISBS. In 2015, ISBS was awarded best upcoming Institution by HRDC and in 2018 HRDC put us in the top three of Private Colleges,” he said.

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