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Botswana becomes Japans second-hand car scrap heap

Statistics Botswana, a parastatal organisation charged with responsibilities of collecting and disseminating all official figures in the country, has presented Transport and Infrastructure Statistics Brief for Quarter 3, 2019.

The Brief covers statistics relating to air transport, motor vehicle registrations, railway transport and water transport. The motor vehicle registration deals with licensing of motor vehicles with respect to those registered for the first time and the renewal of pre-existing ones. First registrations are done at the Department of Road Transport and Safety DRTS only, while renewals are done at DRTS offices, Post Offices country wide and some stores like Sefalana.

According to these statistics, a total of 18 000 vehicles were registered for the first time during the quarter under review, Q3 2019. Out of this total 77.1 percent were passenger cars. Vans made up 7.4 percent of the total while motor cycles constituted only 0.3 percent of the total first registrations. First registrations increased by 4.9 percent compared to the previous quarter, Q2 2019. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Q3 2018, vehicles registered for the first time increased by 27.7 percent.

For the past five years first registrations have been increasing at a decreasing rate; in 2015 they increased by 11.2. Most of the first registrations in Q3 2019 were used vehicles, constituting 84.9 percent of total first registrations. In this brief, it was shared that most of the first registrations in Q3 2019 were used vehicles, constituting 84.9 percent of total first registrations. Brand new and rebuilt vehicles accounted for 15.0 percent and 0.1 percent of the total respectively.

Furthermore, the brief indicated that the highest number of first registered vehicles were imported from Japan which made up 77.7 percent of the total first registrations. Out of these, 99.6 percent were used vehicles and only 0.4 percent were new. The neighbouring South Africa followed Japan with 15.0 percent of total imported vehicles, out of which 82.8 percent were new. Singapore was the third in line of countries from which Botswana imports vehicles, it accounted for 1.7 percent of total first registrations.

Most of the new vehicles were imported from South Africa which accounted for 82.5 percent of total brand new vehicles. Vehicles bought in Botswana followed with 7.4 percent. Brand new vehicles from Pakistan and Japan accounted for 2.8 and 2.0 percent respectively.
Rebuilt vehicles originated from only three countries namely; Botswana (41.7 percent), Japan (50.0 percent) and South Africa (8.3 percent).

In Q3 2019, Gaborone accounted for a high number of first registrations with 64.8 percent of the total first registrations, the brief noted. This was an increase of 2.3 percent compared to vehicles registered for the first time in Q2 2019. The country’s second city, Francistown followed with 9.3 percent of total vehicles registered for the first time. The ailing town of Lobatse recorded 6.7 percent, while Molepolole 5.2 percent. Bobonong and Mogoditshane had the least number of first registrations with just one vehicle each.

There were no first registrations recorded at Charleshill, Hukuntsi, Middlepits, Moshupa and Rakops. In the period under review, Toyota proved to be the most popular motor vehicle make, registering 38.3 percent of total first registrations. Honda recorded the second highest number of first registrations with 12 .3 percent. Volkswagen recorded 10.9 percent while Mazda and Nissan registered 8.4 and 6.2 percent respectively.

Yamaha was the favourite motorcycle as it accounted for 70.2 percent of the total motorcycles recorded this quarter. The report stressed that all the homemade vehicles were trailers. As for registration by month, most of the registrations were done in the month of July which accounted for 34.8 percent of total first registrations. The months of August and September constituted 34.0 and 31.2 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, Q3 2018, July increased by 41.1 percent, while August and September registrations increased by 20.2 and 23.1 percent respectively.

Compared to the same months of the previous year, renewals increased for the months of July and August by 19.1 percent and 4.6 percent respectively and declined for the month of September by 1.4 percent. Statistics Botswana further indicated that Motor Vehicle Renewals by Quarter & Body Type A total of 137,348 vehicles had their licenses renewed during this quarter.This was an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the 128,972 vehicles renewed in Q2 2019. The most renewed body type of vehicle was the passenger car accounting for 64.2 percent of total renewals.

Vans accounted for 19.1 percent of total renewals recorded under this quarter. Motor cycles had the least number of renewals with 0.3 percent. Almost all the vehicle body types recorded an increase compared to the previous quarter, except the category of “others” which registered a decrease of 4.4 percent. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Q3 2018, renewals increased by 7.2 percent.During the quarter under review, Q3 2019, Cities and Towns accounted for the highest number of renewals with 55.4 percent of the total renewals.

Of these renewals, 67.3 percent were recorded in Gaborone. Central District accounted for the second highest number of renewals with 13.5 percent, with Palapye having the highest number of renewals for that district with 23.3 percent. The southern district constituted 3.7 percent of total renewals, with 62.0 percent of those recorded in Kanye. The other district where a high number of renewals were recorded was Kweneng, which was accounting for 9.8 percent of total renewals. The district with the least number of renewals was North East with 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, a total of 276, 762 net tons of goods were transported using rail in Q3 2019, which showed 6.0 percent decrease from goods transported in Q2 2019. Total imports decreased by 11.0 percent and total exports decreased by 18.0 percent, while local traffic increased by 45.5 percent and Botswana total declined by 7.4 percent. Botswana Origin decreased by 5.1 percent while transit traffic increased by 22.2 percent. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, goods transported by rail in Q3 2018 decreased by 31.9 percent.

Most of the goods, 36.9 percent were transported during the month of September. July and August accounted for 34.1 and 29.0 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, all the months registered a decrease on the goods transported. July and August registered a decrease of 32.0 and 41.4 percent respectively, while September registered a decrease of 21.7 percent in goods transported. Revenue generated from rail transport amounted to P57.2 million in Q3 2019, which was a decrease of 5.3 percent compared to what was generated in the previous quarter, Q2 2019.

In comparison to the same quarter of the previous year, there was a 27.8 percent decrease. For rail transport revenue, Botswana total accounted for 93.6 percent of total revenue while transit traffic accounted for 6.4 percent. During the month of September, revenue generated constituted 38.1 percent of total revenue. The months of July and August accounted for 34.7 and 27.2 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, revenue collected in July and August decreased by 26.2 and 41.4 percent respectively. Revenue collected in September decreased by 15.1 percent

In Q3 2019, 84,789 passengers used the passenger train, giving an increase of 48.0 percent compared to Q2 2019. The increase is attributed to the introduction of the commuter train between Lobatse and Gaborone. A high number of passengers used standard class (83.6 percent).

Sleeper class and business class accounted for 6.7 and 9.7 percent respectively. A high number of passengers travelled by rail in the month of July recording 36.5 percent. The months of August and September registered 33.4 and 30.1 percent of total rail passengers. Total passenger revenue generated during Q3 2019 was P6, 021,000.

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BTC launches the 3rd Francistown Marathon 2024 and handover proceeds to the 2nd Francistown Marathon beneficiaries

8th December 2023

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.

BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203.  BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.

The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.

Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTC’s commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that “the annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistown”. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that “the donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTC’s commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industries”.

He further stated that through this marathon, “we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active society”.  He concluded by stating that “BTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at large” he said.

Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that “he is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathon”. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the “CSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communities”, he said.

The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.


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Letsholo lauds President Masisi’s digitization in fight against corruption

8th December 2023

Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.

According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.

The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.

Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.

Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.

Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.

In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.


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FaR property assets value clock P1.47 billion

6th December 2023

FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.

FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.

One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.

Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.

In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.

FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.

The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.









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