The Selibe Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) launched its new brand, logo and corporate slogan amid promises of thousands of jobs spanning the agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors.
At a high profile corporate event at the newly opened Hotel Selibe graced by political leaders, captains of industries amongst others CEDA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Thabo Thamane, BITC Executive Director for Strategy & Competitiveness, Mr. K Olebile who also seats in the SPEDU board, BCL top brass lead by Managing Director, Dan Mahupela who also chairs the SPEDU board, community leadership and other high profile senior government officials, the officials asserted that they are not just all about talk – jobs are coming.
SPEDU is a parastatal company wholly owned by the government established in 2007 to diversify the economy of Selibe Phikwe and the surrounding areas by diversifying the area’s economy away from mining.
When giving background and introduction of brand strategy SPEDU Chief Executive Dr Mokubung N Mokubung explained that the decision to rebrand SPEDU was influenced by the imperative need for his organization to keep up with corporate transformation and provide easy interaction with its clients.
Said Dr Mokubung: “Our corporate identity has to provide a first sight economic & investment attractive picture that expresses togetherness of all stakeholders with a vibrant color spectrum.”
Dr Mokubung emphasized that people expect a lot from SPEDU hence the move to update their corporate image in order to profile Selibe Phikwe as a premier sight for innovative and high technology companies which would translate into thousands of job creation.
Delivering the Keynote speech, SPEDU chairman, Mr Dan Mahupela who also seats at the helm of BCL Limited outlined some of the developments in the region and gave a positive future economic outlook.
Pointing out the National Agro Processing Plant, Mahupela explained that a horticultural study conducted in 2013 revealed great potential for the SPEDU region in food production credit to abundant water supply and fertile soil.
He added that SPEDU is facilitating the upgrading of the Selibe Phikwe airstrip to a fully flashed airport with improved flight aviation terminal and waiting hall. “As the SPEDU chairman I am pleased to announce that soon I will be able to fly with my CEO from Phikwe straight to Gaborone and from Phikwe Straight to Johannesburg,” said Mahupela.
The airport together with the Platjan bridge whose construction is expected to commence in two months’ time will make travelling easy for potential investors and business people also enhancing tourism efficiency,” explained the Chairman.
Speaking in an interview with Weekend Post SPEDU Executive, Ms Punah Molebatsi explained that the new logo and brand represent a joint collective effort of all stakeholders in transforming and diversifying the Phikwe region.
Said Molebatsi: “the old logo represented what we wanted to do as SPEDU, our intended strategic framework, but the new brand represents what we are doing, the ongoing projects and strategic undertakings that underway.”
She revealed to this publication that the town will soon receive a pharmaceutical factory and medicine park which will create thousands of jobs for the Phikwe and surrounding areas.
Molebatsi also indicated that a high standard shopping mall is also in the pipeline and the development is expected to give the Selibe Phikwe town a new phase lift and transform the region into an economic and investment hub.
Furthermore another project is underway to develop a 42 kilometer electrical line which will power 44 horticultural fields with an estimated land space of 800-1000 hectares along the Motloutse river basin, Mr Jazenga Uezesa SPEDU Director of Strategic projects revealed to Weekend Post.
The project, which is expected to be completed in December this year is financed by the European Union and it is undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
Said Uezesa: “We have not quantified how much this project would contribute to the reduction of Botswana‘s import bill, but we are optimistic the project will enhance large scale horticultural production and help archive much needed food security.
Uezesa also added that SPEDU has an obligation to turn the region into the bread basket of Botswana.
Profiling the tourism potential in the region, the Strategic Project Director revealed to that SPEDU in partnership with Botswana Tourism Organization is in the process of developing a framework to enhance tourism efficiency in the region.
Uezesa said they are working hard to profile and market the SPEDU region as a tourism destination, because of three dams, being Letsibogo, Dikgathong and Thune. He said water tourism is one of the main tourism undertakings they are targeting.
“We will be cautious of environmental factors and sensitiveness of the water because the main aim of the dams is to supply the whole nation with water.”
The Strategic Project Director also revealed that his office is in the process of developing SPEDU tourism regional corridor which will provide information about attractive sites and promote value chain business opportunities.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.