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South African company promises hand of steel at Pula Steel

Creditors, liquidator and auctioneer found bid from South African company DH Machine Manufacturing for the Pula Steel plant hard to resist because it initially complied with the offer requirements document and made the highest bid of P21 million while its competitor was trailing by P7 million.

South African auctioneer WH Auctioneers was tasked by Pula Steel liquidator John Hinchliffe to handle the sale of the plant. WH Auctioneers adjudicated two companies Botswana bound Wealth Key Trading and South African based DH Machine Manufacturing.“Based on the fact that DH Machine Manufacturing was in full compliance with the offer requirements document and made the highest bid, we recommend that DH Machine Manufacturing offer be accepted, subject to receipt of payment of the balance of the offer,” WH Auctioneers Director Prelena Narainsamy recommended DH Machine to the Pula Steel liquidation in a letter leaked to BusinessPost.

In a letter written to the creditors this week, Pula Steel liquidator Hinchliffe heeded WH Auctioneers’ recommendation further stating that he gave DH the plant because it has “intent  on investing further in Botswana and will create significant employment in the country over the next few years if their plans come to fruition.” Hinchliffe further said the offer also compares reasonable well to a valuation which was carried out in August 2018 in which the assets DH has offered to purchase were valued at approximately P29 million in total.

“Given the passage of time which could have resulted in further deterioration of the assets and the ongoing poor economic environment in Selibe Phikwe, I believe a 10 percent discounting of the original valuation is reasonable.  I am therefore, as Liquidator, also recommending to the creditors that the assets be sold to DH. I believe this will be in the best interest of the creditors, “said Hinchliffe in a communication to the creditors.

According to requirement of the Sale of Pula Steel Plant, the Seller has the right to reject any offer and may choose entirely at his own discretion not to accept any offer for any reason. Also the Seller will be under no obligation to provide reasons for his non-acceptance of any offer. The awarding of the tender for DH came after a failed attempt to have the Pula Steel Plant sold. The tender process failed due to inability of the preferred bidder to pay within stipulated time periods.

The liquidator and the Master of High Court then agreed that the tender which was issued in October 2018 be canceled. Then interested parties who have both expressed interest and have financial capacity would be invited to submit offers under a private treaty arrangement (i.e this is not a public/open tender but is available only to the selected parties).

After failure of the first sale Hinchliffe and the Master of High Court also agreed that the assets for sale would include the rolling mill assets which were previously excluded from the tender due to a claim of reservation of title by the supplier. WH Auctioneers was tasked with selling the plant on behalf of the liquidator. This week the creditors, bidders and the auctioneers met for a decisive event at the Court of Appeal where it was decided that DH should own the Pula Steel plant as many saw it as “economically sound and the best interest of the creditors.”

The Pula Steel assets comprises of, Plant and Buildings, plant and machinery at the main site valued at P18 181 818.18. The rolling mill components are at P3 000 000 .00. The whole plant cost at P21 181 818.18. WH Auctioneers were also paid P2 118 181.81 as commission. The gross bid excluding tax is P23 299 999. 99 and when the 12 percent VAT is included the whole amount payable becomes P26 095 999.15.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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