Poor service delivery that has been widely associated with Air Botswana, the national airline could be a thing of the past as the new 5 year strategy implementation comes into effect this year, Ben Dahwa the General manager for air Botswana has revealed.
The airline has been saddled with substandard services, year after year losses, delayed flights, aircraft unavailability resulting in severe disruptions. The new strategy has been recommended by the outsourced management counsultants.
The new strategy which is set to kick -in this March 2015 is expected to touch on the airline’s operations that are rationalization of route network and schedule, review of internal processes and procedures, use of technology to enhance delivery, fleet upgrade and equipment renewal.
“We want to get to a point where we need not publish statistics, our customers must just experience reliability and product quality to reward us back with their trust.”
“I can vouch that our customers will experience schedule reliability and on time performance target north of 85%,” he said. He highlighted that the disruptions are very costly,” said Dahwa.
He expects the strategy to enable the shareholder and management to focus better and enable full transformation of the airline.
Dahwa added that the fleet has gone through heavy airframe maintenance checks during the 2014/15 financial year save for certain engine and landing gear maintenance, a development which should reduce pressure on the cashflow. However Dahwa said there are no plans of refleeting this year since the process itself takes time and 12 months will not be enough.
The GM highlighted that AB will be working more with private sector partners to diversify and develop thin routes to ensure connectivity within the country and further facilitate economic activities. Air Botswana is also intending to introduce new airlines to East and West Africa however this will be guided by the bilateral agreements that Botswana is having with various countries.
Today’s fleet comprises three ATR42-500, one ATR72-500 turbo propeller aircraft, and two Avro RJ85 jets. Air Botswana currently flies to local and regional destinations within Southern Africa. Locally the airline connects Gaborone with Francistown, Maun and Kasane with an additional route between Maun and Kasane.
Regionally the airline connects Johannesburg with Gaborone, Maun, Kasane and Francistown, and further links from Gaborone to Cape Town, Harare and Lusaka. The Airline also connects Cape Town and Maun.
Furthermore, the MD indicated that his organization is on a drive to ensure seats are occupied for every flight. AB expects its 2015/16 financial results to definitely mimic the operational improvements.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.