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IDM hosts One Night Affair with Chef Donald

Institute of Development Management (IDM) has entered into a partnership with Lesotho-based Dona@Balos school of Chefs and Hospitality. At a glamorous occasion, termed, a One Night Affair with Chef Donald, IDM gave its stakeholders a taste of fine dining where they were treated to a three course menu and fine wines, courtesy of Lengau Wines.

The event featured professional chefs from Botswana Chefs Association and Tlotlo Hotel who prepared the food, giving guests the ultimate experience dining as opposed to eating. Chef Donald, a renowned international chef worked wonders as he coordinated the food tasting session from an open kitchen at Tlotlo hotel. He is a global personality known for his significant contribution towards promoting the culinary arts industry in Africa.

At the event, IDM announced that it will be launching a culinary arts course in partnership with Dona@Balos School of Chefs and Botswana Chefs Association. Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe, IDM Country Director said IDM is responding to the need in the market. “Following our engagements with various stakeholders, we have identified a gap to help our economy to grow and diversify. For a long time Botswana has relied more on mineral resources and we are now supporting government efforts to reduce this reliance and contribute towards making our economy knowledge-based,” said Dr Kgokgwe.

IDM and Dona@Balos have been in courtship for over two years now, according to a Hospitality and Tourism Consultant at IDM, Cathrine Kebakile. She says the relationship started when IDM was soliciting partnerships to develop a culinary arts programme which is seeking to support the wider hospitality and tourism industry in line with the government effort to diversify Botswana’s economy.

“As the industry grows, we realise the need for a comprehensive strategy to offer training interventions and solutions to help learners acquire the necessary skills and professional qualifications to be able to compete in the regional and international market. Culinary arts is an important trade that deserves proper attention as it involves issues pertaining to health, safety and hygiene beyond just food preparation and presentation” she lamented.

Cathrine pointed out that key highlight of Chef Dona’s visit is the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between IDM and Dona@Balos school which will cement the agreement the two parties have entered into. Regional Director, Richard Malikongwa during his words of encouragement recognised the support and interest IDM received from Botswana Chefs Association whom he said are an important stakeholder as they roll out the culinary arts programme, adding: “we value their experience and expertise and believe their contribution will go a long way in assisting IDM to support the industry.”

President of Botswana Chefs Association, Chef Thuto Masala said:  “There is need for culinary arts training in the country.   A number of staff working in hotels countrywide need qualifications which can assist them to upgrade to better positions in the industry.  There are few locals who hold senior and professional as chefs in the country. They lag behind as they still need training and exposure to both regional and international experience in culinary arts.  

Training as a chef without management background is not enough, chefs need to understand the issue of operational costs and management of staff in the food and beverage for a successful business. The issue of food handling, which includes health, safety and hygiene is crucial as well in the food business, and it is one of the highlighted components in the planned culinary arts programme by IDM.”

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Government sitting on 4 400 vacant posts

14th September 2020
(DPSM) Director Goitseone Naledi Mosalakatane

Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.

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FNBB projects deeper 50 basis point cut for Q4 2020

14th September 2020
Steven Bogatsu

Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.

The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter.  According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.

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Food suppliers give Gov’t headache – report

14th September 2020
Food suppliers give Gov’t headache

An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.

Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.

There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.

The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.

Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.

In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.

“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.

In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.

“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”

Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.

In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.

In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.

This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.

In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.

Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.

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