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Sechaba mulls lower results amid regulatory challenges

Sechaba brewery has warned that the current regulatory challenges will weigh on the company’s profits, as the traditional beer unit issued a trading update ahead of its half year results.

The Group expects results for the six months ended 30 September 2016 will be lower than that of the corresponding period ended 30 September 2015.

“This is mainly attributable to the current regulatory challenges environment in which the Group operates,” the statement reads.

Sechaba, which is a partnership between SABMiller and government through investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), has been trying to negotiate with government on the alcohol levy which has been a bane to the group’s business.

Since the introduction of the alcohol levy about seven years ago, government has been increasing the alcohol tax by five percent every year with the intention of reducing harmful impact of alcohol. Initially government intended to increase the levy year on year till it reaches 70%, something that Sechaba thought would do more harm to their business.

Briefing the media in July this year, the managing director for Sechaba Johan De Kok he said they have requested that all alcohol with a percentage greater than five percent should be levied at 55% while the ones fewer than five percent should be levied 50%.

According to KBL, the opaque beer portfolio has suffered sustained challenges in its trading environment as a result of the traditional beer regulations that were implemented in July 2012, which effectively banned the sale of traditional beer in residential areas.

The traditional beer unit has lost a lot as a result of the alcohol levy. So far, government has been paid over P1 billion approximately, in the alcohol levy. The Chibuku division specifically has suffered a lot.

Previously these presented approximately 80% of the trading channels for KBL opaque beer division’s traditional heritage product, Chibuku.

In a period of seven months, the harsh trading environment forced KBL to close down production activities at its opaque brewery operations in Selebi-Phikwe and Lobatse impacting on 142 jobs. This followed the closure of the KBL Palapye Brewery operations in 2013.

 Traditional Beer Regulations that were implemented in July 2012 banned the sale of traditional beer in residential areas that previously represented approximately 80 percent of trading channels for KBL opaque beer division’s, Chibuku. Over this period close to 10 000 entrepreneurs earning a living out of selling Chibuku have been reduced to as little as 750 in all.

For the year ended March 31, 2016 Sechaba Brewery Holdings recorded a P202 million profit for the year, which was a 7.8 percent increase from the P187 million registered in the prior year.

The group attributed the increase to a combination of volume growth from clear beer, alcoholic fruit beverages, sparkling soft drinks categories, selective pricing, improved brand, pack mix and focus on production and distribution efficiencies.

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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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