Careerpool Botswana has quickly positioned itself as the premier online job board in Botswana. Rightly so as it brings technology to Batswana that is long overdue. It takes the cumbersome process of finding employment and neatly packages it into a system that connects job seeker to employer at the click of a button.
For the employer the rewards are equally as sweet. Gone are the days when HR Departments need to open their doors to receive piles and piles of CV’s from job hopefuls.
More and more, companies are asking prospective job seekers to send their CV’s in softcopy form via mail or directly onto job boards where vacancies are advertised. For some reason there still exists a perception that this is not the way to go about things. Not yet in any case. It’s too soon for Batswana.
They feel that using technology in this way hinders the majority of individuals from being able to apply as not everyone has this technology at their disposal. I am sorry but this is simply not true. It is either a clear misrepresentation of us as Batswana, or we simply don’t see ourselves and how techno-savvy we have truly become in recent years.
When it comes to the argument of hardcopy vs softcopy job application requirements and their perceived unfairness, I ask this; when was the last time you saw a hand-written CV? Not in my lifetime and I’m 30! Why have we not seen a hand-written CV in over 30 years? Because people now type out their CV’s on computers, digitally.
This is called a softcopy. The minute they print this digital version onto a piece of paper (an environmentalists dream) it becomes a hardcopy. So you see, everybody that has a hardcopy of their CV had to have had a softcopy at some stage.
So how does asking a candidate to submit their softcopy alienate them from the recruitment process? The technology is readily available to everybody as it is computer based. All that companies are trying to achieve is to streamline the manner in which they carry out their recruitment processes. The intention is not to leave certain people out but rather include more people through the remote access the internet provides.
Companies seem to be grappling with the way in which they can use the internet without being seen to non-inclusive. I’ve spoken to some HR departments of prominent businesses and the feedback I got was that Batswana are just not there yet when it comes to advertising for positions online or asking them to apply online. I don’t know about you but I felt quite patronized by this perception. And I wonder where the data is to support such a notion as I believe that it stems from nothing more than personal opinion.
And here’s why. When you look around, all you see is people on their mobiles, texting, Watsapping, Facebooking and checking their e-mails on laptops, tablets and phablets. We, like the world at large, have become a techno-savvy nation and it’s due to the internet and how it has helped to create a truly global village with real-time access to anything and everything that is placed on the platform.
For HR practitioners and job seekers it has given rise to ingenious e-recruiting tools and online job boards that are here to simplify otherwise expensive, time-consuming and burdensome processes for both parties.
Why would anyone be averse to such advancements that are clearly devised for the benefit of all end-users? If you have handy a softcopy of your CV it makes it much easier to edit as and when you need to, ready to e-mail to a potential employer at the drop of a hat. We do this remotely at home, the office (sorry boss), internet shops or where Wi-Fi is available.
When you have online job boards like Careerpool it means you can upload this softcopy CV directly to the site and immediately give yourself the chance to be seen by employers looking for people in your particular field. As an employer you can be assured that if you have a vacancy it will be seen by job seekers on a job board like Careerpool because they know it to be the central repository for all jobs in Botswana, therefore it’s the first place they look.
Even if your company has its own careers page how do you market this better? How do you make people aware to come directly to your site above all other sites? And no, the answer is not to create a hardcopy of a link to your website so that people know about your amazing careers portal.
This just defeats the purpose of simplifying how job seekers apply for your vacancies. The answer is to create an online presence in a space that you know to be foremost in the minds of jobseekers in our current market. An online job board that connects you to a greater talent pool. Companies are going digital with e-recruiting and this technology is not lost on us as Batswana. We are being unfairly labeled as technophobic.
We as a nation are ready and highly capable of incorporating these world leading trends into our current, dare I say, outdated systems. We need to take advantage of new technology and make it work for us here in Botswana as these advancements hold the key to unlocking personal and organizational successes in our country. They provide us with the tools to compete at a global level.
If you’re still not convinced that Botswana is ready for this kind of technology then perhaps you’ll find Albert Einstein’s words more compelling, he said, "All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” Consider this the next time you are tempted to ask candidates to post their CV’s to your office.
In the coming months prices will go up and inflation will shoot sharply above the target of 3 percent to 6 percent towards the third quarter of 2021, the Bank of Botswana on the other hand will continue to withhold its knife on the Bank Rate. This is according to a forecast made by Kgori Capital in its recent Market Watch Segment.
Statistics from Statistics Botswana show that the recent 1.8 percent increase in the September inflation, from 1 percent in August, was a reflection of the upward adjustment in public transport fares (Transport (from -6.9 to -3.9 percent) in September 2020, which is estimated to have increased inflation by approximately 0.64 percentage points.
Local anti-trust body, Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA), this month received back to back acquisition proposals from South African clothing retailers to wipe out their former rivals, Edcon, from Botswana malls.
Last week BusinessPost was in possession of Merger Notice No 23 of 2020 whereby a South African clothing retailer owner, Retailability Proprietary Limited, through Oclin Proprietary Limited, proposed to acquire parts of the Edgars business conducted by Edcon in Botswana (through Edcon Botswana), as a going concern, consisting of certain assets and identified liabilities.
South African government’s Business Rescue Practitioners earlier this year announced that Retailability will buy Edgars, after the latter filed for a business rescue plan in April after it failed to pay suppliers. This move will see Retailability add Edgars to its portfolio consisting of brands such as; Legit, Beaver Canoe and Style.
Retailability landed on Botswana shores 18 years ago with its flamboyant urban fashion Style which had 17 stores. Style, having almost the same target market as Edgars as it offers men’s and ladies’ contemporary and formal fashion, gave the 91 year old legendary clothing retailer a run for its money, and has won the battle as its parent company has taken over Edgars.
Retailability brands are synonymous with Botswana shopping centres and there are currently five (5) Beaver Canoe stores, 10 Style stores and seven (7) Legit stores across this country. The Beaver Canoe stores sell clothing apparel for men and boys only. The Legit stores have a fashion store format which focuses on the retailing of clothing, footwear, accessories, colour cosmetics and cellular products.
Retailability operates in over 460 stores across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini. Many observers suggest that because of the deal with Retailability to swallow Edcon, most Edgars stores in Botswana will change their name and be branded Style. A sad tale for religious consumers of the Edgars trademark who got used to love their favourite brand for years.
According to CCA’s Merger Notice No 23 of 2020, Retailability is controlled by Clifford Raymond Lines (through a company which functions solely as a holding company of his interests in Retailability) and Metier Investment and Advisory Services Proprietary Limited (“Metier”). Metier is a private equity enterprise with investments in a number of industries spanning from healthcare, hospitality, FMCGs and telecommunications.
Retailability directors are mostly South Africans; Clifford Raymond Lines, Mark Richard Friday and Norman Victor Drieselmann. Only Nasreen Essack, who was appointed February this year, is a Motswana. He comes after Brian Thuto Tsima left on the same date. Retailability 100 percent owns Oclin Proprietary Limited, the company it is acquiring Edgars with, by a capacity of 3000 shares.
The target business, Edgars, offer textiles, cosmetics and cellular products. Edcon has a Motswana director, Charles Mzwandile Vikisi, a South African, Shane Van Niekerk and Zimbabwean Jethro Kamutsi.
“The Target Business comprises of two (2) Edgars franchise brands and private label stores across Botswana. These stores target middle to upper income customers and are home to a range of private label brands such as Free2BU, Charter Club and Stone Harbour, and a wide range of market label brands (such as Levi’s and Guess) for clothing, footwear and cosmetics.
In addition, the Target Business operates iconic Edgars Home and Edgars Beauty stores as store-in-store formats rounding out the department store offering in Botswana,” said CCA. Foshini also lines up to take Jet Botswana from Edcon.
The Foschini Group (TFG) released a statement confirming its latest intentions to acquire Edcon assets or Jet for a cash purchase consideration of R480 million. This was after the business rescue practitioners offered TFG to buy Jet by that amount.
CCA is currently mulling on a proposed merger by TFG to take over Jet operations in Botswana. Merger Notice No 21 of 2020 from TFG came a few days before the Retailability proposal. In this merger TFG, acting through Foschini Botswana, want to take over “parts” of the Jet business conducted by Edcon through Jet Supermarkets Botswana.
TFG will be willing to add Jet to its portfolio of 30 retail brands that trade in clothing, footwear, jewellery, sportswear, homeware, cell phones, and technology products from value to upper market segments throughout more than 4085 outlets in 32 countries on five continents. TFG will also get Jet’s distribution centre located in Durban and certain stores in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini. Also part of this fat deal is that the company is looking to also acquire JET Club and all existing JET stock of no less than R800 million.
Johannesburg listed TGF owns Foschini Retail Group which owns the local operations called Foschini Botswana, the acquiring enterprise according to CCA merger notice. “TFG is not controlled by any enterprise/s and for completeness, the three largest shareholders of TFG holding shares greater than 5% as at 27th March 2020 are: Government Employees Pension Fund (16.2%) Public Investment Corporation (13.2%); Old Mutual Limited (6.7%); and Investec Asset Management (6.3%). The remaining issued share capital in TFG is widely held,” said the merger notice.
Only Abdool Rahim Khan is a Motswana in the Foschini Botswana directorship, the rest; Ganeswari Shani Naidoo, Anthony Edward Thunström and Gustav Jansen (alternate director) are South Africans.
According to the CCA merger, the Jet Business is Edcon’s discount department store division, selling clothing, footwear, homeware and some cosmetics as well as cellular products and targets lower-to-middle income consumers throughout Botswana. The Jet Business does not directly or indirectly control any enterprises, says the notice. CCA seeks any stakeholder views for or against the proposed merger, which may be sent within 10 days from date of this publication to the following address.
Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority BOCRA signed a memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Ministries of Transport and Communications (MTC), Basic Education (MoBE) as well as Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD).
The MoA seeks to continue the collaboration that dates back to 2016 when the three parties first agreed to work together in a project aimed at computerizing and providing broadband Internet to primary schools in remote and underserved areas of Botswana.
The project benefitted 68 primary schools and 9 secondary schools through the construction of Local Area Network (LAN) in each primary school, provision of 5 Mbps dedicated broadband Internet to each Primary School and provision of Wi-Fi enabled tablets, laptops and related peripherals such as printers and copiers.
Further, the project will see the augmentation of computers in 9 Junior Secondary Schools with 30 laptops per identified school and employment of Information Technology (IT) officers at each primary school.
When speaking at the signing ceremony in Gaborone, Chief Executive of BOCRA and Chairperson of Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF) Board of Trustees Martin Mokgware said the project’s ultimate goal is to facilitate pupils in schools and host villages to be able to play a meaningful role in the digital economy.
Mokgware indicated that this necessitates upgrading of existing Telecommunications infrastructure to high capacity broadband that will support delivery of education, accessibility to the quality Internet and usage of ICTs.
The Fund began its inaugural programme by sponsoring the provision of WiFi hotspots in public areas around the country as its first project. Following the successful implementation of public WiFi hotspots, the Fund identified Kgalagadi, Ghanzi and Mabutsane areas for mobile network upgrades, schools computerization and internet provision.
Conscious that the project would not be possible without buy-in and support from MoBE, MTC and MLGRD, the Fund facilitated the signing of the first MoU between the three parties in 2016 for implementation of the project.
BOCRA Chief Executive said the signing of this agreement is aimed at benefitting the Kweneng District, adding that they have already assessed the area and have determined that they will be covering 62 underserved villages and 119 schools, 91 of which are primary schools.
“This is a project for which the partner Ministries need to re-commit for its success. Lessons from the previous schools’ computerization and internet connectivity project require that we increase our involvement and resources dedicated to the project for it to be successful. It is my belief as the project coordinator, that we will not do things the way we did them during the first project, for if we do, then we will not have learnt anything,” he said at the signing ceremony.
The purpose of learning is so that there can be continuous improvement to minimize the length of time and amount of resources utilized, he said expressing confidence that their partners will step up to the plate and ensure they play their part in the implementation of the project and that it will progress smoothly having already tread along a similar path.
UASF’s role lies mainly in funding and project management. According to Mokgware, once the project is completed, the work to integrate ICTs into the classroom begins in earnest. Therefore, he said, the project will not succeed without full cooperation and oversight of partners.
“MoBE will put in place the necessary content and ensure that the curriculum is available to all. MLGRD will provide, among others, the enabling environment by ensuring readiness of the school’s infrastructure and necessary security.”