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BDP Chief Whip rejects Nominated Councillors

Newly-elected Chief Whip of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/Lephephe, Liakat Kablay has criticised the specially elected Council dispensation calling for its immediate abolishment.

This comes a few days after Kablay was chosen by President Mokgweetsi Masisi as Government Chief Whip and dully endorsed by the BDP caucus, to continue from where he left off during his previous term in the portfolio.  The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Eric Molale has this week in accordance with Section 13 Sub Section 1 and 2 of the Local Government Act of 2012, approved Specially Nominated Councillors.

A total of 119 Councillors have been specially nominated for the 57 constituencies across the country for the 2019-2024 term. Among the notable names for specially elected Councillors are; BDP Gaborone region Chairman Lotty Manyepedza, BDP Francistown South 2019 Parliamentary contender Modiri Jojo Lucas, former Good Hope/Mabule MP campaign manager Fankie Motsaathebe, former Assistant Minister Oliphant Mfa and immediate former Serowe South lawmaker candidate Lesedi Phuthego.

According to Kablay, the provision for specially elected councillors has been and is continuing to divide the party and therefore it must be obliterated.  “What are they going to do that the elected councillors cannot do on their own? Now, people and party loyalists are fighting us over this every election year as they feel entitled to be selected after working tirelessly for the party,” the BDP three time MP lambasted. 

He continued: “from my constituency alone I think around 200 expressed their interest but only 2 were chosen by the Minister as the law prescribes. The remaining 198 often put the burden and blame on me as an MP to say I didn’t consider them although they have been working for the party or probably have certain skills and expertise needed in the specially elected councillors.” When they feel dissatisfied, the lawmaker pointed out that they then tarnish the image of the party. “It causes divisions and this brings the party into disrepute,” he insisted to this publication.

Kablay, however observed that most of the primary elections losers were not roped in but instead many from outside were and that is possibly why a great number of the party faithfuls are fuming as they have been left out. To address this, the BDP backbencher asserted that he will soon bring and table a motion at Parliament on the scrapping of the dispensation. But of course before that, he added that he will consult with his colleagues at the party caucus to squash this specially elected councillors’ allowance. 

“It’s a waste of time and resources being splashed on over 130 specially elected Councillors,” he justified as part of his reasons for advocating for its scrapping.  The then Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso, has told the previous Parliament sitting that there were 113 nominated councillors in total and their salaries per year added up to P78,933,16.00 (P78 million).

“Botswana spends at least P6, 577, 746.00 (P6 million) on nominated councillors across the country as their salaries per month,” she stated adding that their projected gratuity stood at P 9,866,646.00.  Botlogile stressed the point that the councillors are not nominated according to party affiliation, therefore she could not say with certainty how many belong to each party/part in Botswana. The Specially elected councillors’ number has, following the 2019 General Elections, escalated to more than 130, which means more money to be footed at the tax payers’ expense. 

The BDP Chief Whip’s call comes after other BDP heavy weights such as former Vice President, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who have also in the past strongly spoken against the practice.  In the 9th Parliament, Kedikilwe tabled a motion in Parliament calling for the system to be scrapped, as it had diverted from its intended purpose and instead has been turned into a patronage exercise aimed at rewarding BDP activists.

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MMG acquires Khoemacau in a transaction valued at P23Bn

9th April 2024

MMG Limited, the Hong Kong-based mining company specializing in base metals, has successfully concluded the acquisition of Khoemacau Copper Mine, a state-of-the-art, world-class copper asset nestled in the northwest of Botswana.

On Monday, MMG announced that the acquisition of Khoemacau Mine in Botswana was finalized on 22nd March 2024. “This acquisition enriches the company’s portfolio with a top-tier, transformative growth project and signifies a monumental milestone in the Company’s journey,” MMG communicated in an official statement published on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Upon completion of the acquisition, MMG remitted to the Sellers an Aggregate Consideration of approximately US$1,734,657,000 (over P23 billion), a sum subject to potential adjustments post-Completion.

In addition to the Aggregate Consideration, MMG, in accordance with the Agreement, advanced an aggregate amount of approximately US$348,580,000 (over P4.5 billion) as the Aggregate Debt Settlement Amount, to settle certain debt balances of the Target Group (Cuprous Capital/Khoemacau).

On November 21, 2023, Khoemacau announced that the shareholders of its parent company [Cuprous Capital] had agreed to sell 100% of their interests to MMG Limited.

MMG is a global resources company that mines, explores, and develops copper and other base metals projects on four continents. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and has a significant shareholder, China Minmetals Corporation, which is China’s largest metals and minerals group owned by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

On December 22, 2023, Khoemacau Copper Mining (Pty) Ltd received the approval from the Minister of Minerals and Energy of Botswana regarding the transfer of a controlling interest in the Project Licenses and Prospecting Licenses associated with the Khoemacau Copper Mine, a result of the Acquisition.

 

The Botswana Competition & Consumer Authority (CCA) on January 29, 2024, notified the market that it had given its approval for the takeover of Khoemacau Copper Mining by MMG Limited.

On January 29, 2024, the CCA issued a merger decision to the market, stating that after conducting all necessary assessments, it was ready to proceed.

The Competition Authority affirmed that the structure of the relevant market would not significantly change upon implementation of the proposed merger as the proposed transaction is not likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition, nor endanger the continuity of service in the market of mining of copper and silver ores and the production, and sale or supply of copper concentrate in Botswana.

Furthermore, the CCA stated that the proposed merger would not have any negative impact on public interest matters in Botswana as per the provisions of section 52(2) of the Competition Act 2018.

Earlier this month, Minister of Minerals & Energy, Lefoko Maxwell Moagi, informed parliament that his Ministry was endorsing the Khoemacau acquisition by MMG Limited. He noted that not only was the company acquiring the existing operation but also committing to an expansion program that would cost over $700 million to double production, create more jobs for Batswana, and increase taxes and royalties paid to the Government.

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Bullish CA Sales saw revenue rise to R11.3 billion in 2023

9th April 2024

Despite the global economic landscape being fraught with challenges, CA Sales Holdings Limited (CA&S), a powerhouse distributor of fast-moving consumer goods across Africa, remains steadfast in its bullish sentiment. This Botswana and Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, with its extensive operations spanning Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, is primed to deliver exceptional financial performance in 2024.

The company’s portfolio of services is diverse and comprehensive, encompassing everything from warehousing and distribution to retail execution, advisory, retail support, training, technology, and data solutions. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things retail, providing a seamless and efficient service to its vast clientele.

The recent financial results released by the local bourse have painted a picture of a thriving company. CA&S has seen a substantial increase in revenues, rising from R9.48 billion in 2022 to a robust R11.3 billion in 2023. The company’s profits have also seen a significant uptick, growing from R1.42 billion to R1.72 billion within the same period. The company attributes these impressive results to the successful implementation and execution of its growth strategy. “Revenue growth was driven by organic growth, acquisitions, expansion into new regions as well as the on-boarding of new clients to the group’s portfolio. As a result, gross profit increased by 21.1% to R1.72 billion (2022: R1.42 billion). The positive top line growth together with the gain on bargain purchase, contributed to the increase of 40.7% in operating profit for the group to R747.31 million (2022: R531.07 million)”

The financial health of the company is further evidenced by the increase in total assets, which have risen by 26.0% to R5.2 billion. This growth is attributed to the increase in fixed and intangible assets, bolstered by business combinations and increased working capital due to the surge in revenue. The company’s strong cash flow generation from operations has also contributed to a healthy increase in cash resources from R735.8 million to R1 062.0 million at the end of December 2023.

As part of its expansion strategy, CA&S has made significant acquisitions. The company has acquired 100% of the share capital of T&C Properties Namibia (Pty) Ltd and Taeuber and Corssen (Pty) Ltd, collectively known as the T&C Group, for R65.0 million. The T&C Group is a Namibian-based distribution and retail execution business. This acquisition has broadened the group’s footprint in Namibia. In addition, CA&S has acquired all the operations of MarketMax (Pty) Ltd, a sales and merchandising business, for R11.5 million. “Contracts acquired are with clients who retail their brands in the pharmaceutical channel. This acquisition is in line with the group’s channel broadening strategy.” The company has also increased its shareholding in Smithshine Enterprises (Pty) Ltd to 100%, in exchange for CA&S shares, to the value of R3.8 million.

The company has expressed its intention to continue its expansion of services for new and existing clients and to continue offering bespoke solutions to brand owners across the region. “A focus will be on channel broadening across existing businesses within existing geographies. Where feasible, the group will also grow its client and customer networks and make value-adding acquisitions.”

CA&S appears to be ready to deliver another strong financial performance, despite the challenging global economic landscape. The company’s management believes that CA&S remains steadfast in its resilience and strategic positioning. They emphasize that with a robust balance sheet, a widespread geographical footprint across Africa, as well as a portfolio marked by diversification, CA&S is well-positioned to deliver favorable results in 2024. “CA&S’ growth strategy of expanding its services to existing and new clients, channel broadening, expansion into new geographies, coupled with value adding acquisitions, will help ensure the group remains firmly on course to attain its growth aspirations.”

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BDF SERVICE MEMBER DIES IN MOZAMBIQUE

27th March 2024

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) says one of its service members deployed in Cabo – Delgado Province in the Republic of Mozambique due to a short illness.

The member passed away on this morning.

The deceased Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) was deployed as part of the BDF’s Contingent 5 under SAMIM Forces in the Cabo Delgado Province for peace support operations in the Republic of Mozambique.

The next of kin have been informed.

 

 

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