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2018/19 voter registration gobbled P134 million

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has used close to P134 million in the just ended registration exercise for 2019 General Elections. However the registration attracted low numbers in relation to the target when compared to the previous registration undertaking for 2014 general Elections.

The registration took place from 3 September to 11 November 2018; then the first supplementary registration was held on 17 December 2018 to 31st March 2019 whilst the last one was on 15 April 2019 all the way to 28 April 2019. The Commission spent the money on the whole registration process including on advertising and publicity, registration materials, staff and non-staff workers like registration clerks, on car fuels and accommodation among others.

IEC Chief Elections Officer, Motlapele Raleru confirmed to Weekend Post this week in an interview: “yes I can confirm the IEC has spent 134 million pula for the registration project only, for the upcoming elections.” Altogether, the registration exercise attracted around 933 627 voters who are eligible to vote. In the first voter registration, 753 470 registered; the first supplementary garnered 40 738; and the last having attained139 354.

The IEC mouth piece justified that the 2018/19 registration numbers dropped due to a variety of reasons, some of which will be revealed in the coming IEC evaluation report which is expected to be undertaken from next week. Osupile Maroba, IEC Spokesperson attributed the low turn out to a probable population growth in the country over the last few years. “This time around we didn’t do as good as in 2014,” he conceded.

Maroba observed that this year they have registered 933 627 of the targeted 1 067 218 million and “now we have 73.2% going to 2019 General Elections” adding that while previously in 2014, only 824 073 people were registered when going into the elections out of the voting population of 1,067,218 million making it “77% of the target which was a better achievement.” He added “as IEC, population grows, as for young people, one would have expected youth orientated strategies on our part to encourage youth to vote than doing the normal strategy for all Batswana,” he highlighted.  

He also pointed out that if the Commission probably could have started a vigorous registration publicity drive earlier to increase awareness and activity of young people also would have beard positive results for the youth. “So, I believe we need a study to see where we went wrong and how we didn’t take percentage of youth on board, which makes a larger population of the voting community,” Maroba stated.  

But as at November 11 2018, he said the IEC was able to disaggregate the youth registered population and it was sitting at 30% of the first 750 000 which was 297 000 at the time. In the same period (still up to November 2018) IEC spent 2.4 million pula on publicity. Unlike 2019, with 824,073 registered voters the 2014 general elections were the most anticipated and turned out to be the most successful in terms of voter turnout since independence.

In total, 698,409 or 84.60% of voters voted in the 2014 general elections. The number of registered voters however constituted about 52% of the eligible voting population in Botswana. The election results show that the BDP fielded candidates in all the 57 constituencies, and managed to win 37 parliamentary seats. While the UDC fielded 52 parliamentary candidates and 17 of them won parliamentary seats, the BCP had 54 candidates and won 3 parliamentary seats.

As it stands currently, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will, in the approaching 2019 General Elections, be also in the ring with Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Alliance for Progressives (AP) and some independent candidates. Meanwhile, according to the fourth edition of The Road to Botswana Parliament (revised and updated in 2017) compiled by the parliamentary Research Service; in 2009 a total of 725, 817 Batswana were registered out of a target of 650 000.

In the Election report (2009) a total of 544,647 people, or 76.51%, of registered voters voted in the election. The registered voters constituted about 68% of the eligible voting population in Botswana. Of the total registered, 404, 283 were female and 321, 534 male. A total of 320,561 youth between the ages of 18 and 29 had registered. The report also states that in 2004, 552,848 Batswana registered for the general election. In 1999, a total of 459,662 Batswana registered, compared to 370,169 recorded in 1994.

In 1994, only 280,597 Batswana had registered as opposed to the desired target of 400,000. In 1989, a total of 367,069 voters were registered, increasing from 293,571 recorded in 1984, the number increased from 230,321 recorded in 1979. In 1974, there were estimated 239,500 eligible voters in Botswana. It would appear that some people had registered more than once.

A total of 140, 426 Batswana registered to vote in the 1969 general elections. Out of a total of 188,950 people who registered to vote during the first 1965 general elections, 140,789 voted, translating into 74.5 % voter turnout. Meanwhile a University of Botswana (UB) Political Science lecturer who is a local renowned political analyst told this publication when contacted for his observation that the voter registration numbers have gone down this year because of ongoing conflicts in all political parties (internal).  

At the moment, he said the ruling BDP is embroiled in bitter fight between the ex-president Ian Khama and incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi over what looks like a fight for power and authority in the affairs of the country. On the other hand, he added that the main opposition party, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which is made up of Botswana national Front (BNF), Botswana Congress party (BCP and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) is also caught up in a politically motivated, hostile and unrelenting court case over the expulsion of embattled ex-affiliate, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

“Voter registration numbers shrinked because the game changed. Political dynamics in 2014 and 2019 are different. In 2019 all political parties have their own internal conflicts. They were drained in trying to solve their issues. They focused on their issues and forgot the electorate. So now the voter was left in the lurch, confused and felt neglected and therefore found no need to register to vote in the next elections,” Sesa pointed out.

The well-established analyst in local polity further stressed that the Khama/Masisi rivalry as well as the Boko (UDC)/Pilane (BMD) court tussles may have influenced the electorate not to register en-masse. “They didn’t know and still remain uncertain if indeed the UDC will contest the impending elections under the current arrangement and also whether the BDP internal wrangling’s will not lead to a split of both the party and to some extent the country,” he said.

According to Sesa, there has been so much action in the Botswana political space and some sections of electorates are still in limbo. “I for one blame all political parties. Apart to their internal fights, they did not adequately assist the IEC in persuading unsuspecting electorates to go register in their numbers. They rather focused much time on their wars.” However, Sesa on the positive sides, he believes the party wars were signifying the parties ‘growth in the country’s 54 year old democracy.

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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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