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Emergency regulations you must know

  1. Under the Emergency Powers Act, the President can make such regulations as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for, amongst others, securing the public safety and the defence of the Republic, the maintenance of public order, and for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the people.
  2. Such Regulations have been published through Statutory Instrument No. 61 of 2020 and are currently in force. They deal with a wide spectrum of issues including declaration of a national lockdown for the whole of Botswana, effective midnight 02nd April 2020 until 30th April 2020; curtailment of movement by persons with a view to suppressing the virus, etc, whilst allowing the economy to run at a minimal level.
  3. During the period of the lockdown all persons employed within the public service, parastatals and state owned entities shall, to the exclusion of essential services personnel, work remotely from home. This also applies to the private sector.
  4. During lockdown everyone shall remain confined to their homes except those attending an urgent meeting of Cabinet, the National Assembly, a Council, an urgent meeting of the COVID-19 National Task Team or are essential service employees.
  5. All schools shall be closed during the state of public emergency.
  6. All religious places of worship shall be closed during the state of public emergency.
  7. A person shall not travel between villages, towns, cities and districts for non- essential travel during a lockdown
  8. During lockdown a person may leave his/her home between the hours of 0800 and 2000 to access essential supplies, provided he/she is issued with a permit.
  9. Persons other than citizens and non-citizen residents are not allowed entry into Botswana during the state of public emergency.
  10. To provide the necessary safeguard during the period of lockdown, health services, emergency services, administration of justice, legal practitioners and the media have been declared as essential. However, they should obtain permits to access their workplaces.
  11. The escalation of measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic from the Public Health Act [CAP.63:01] to the Constitution will allow Parliament to provide the necessary oversight role of ensuring that the Emergency Powers Regulations are a product of national consensus.
  12. The Public Health Act is a good piece of legislation that attempts to deal with public health emergencies. However, it is limited and is not sufficiently endowed with authority to deal with a public health emergency of this magnitude. For example, section 23 of the Public Health Act authorises the Director to declare that a public health emergency exists. Such declaration is limited to seven (7) days although in terms of section 24 of the Act the Director has authority to extend the period of a public health emergency declaration as may be necessary.
  13. A resolution made by the National Assembly in terms of section 17 of the Constitution continues in force until the expiration of a period of six months beginning with the date of its being so approved or until such earlier date as may be specified in the resolution.
  14. Once the President issues a declaration that a state of public emergency exists, the President is authorised to make regulations under the Emergency Powers Act [CAP. 22:04]. The Emergency Powers Act provides wider latitude compared to the Public Health Act. The Public Health Act requires issuance of directives by the Director while under the Emergency Powers Act, regulations are issued by the President and take precedence where there is inconsistency between the Regulations and existing laws.
  15. Emergency regulations issued by the President under the Emergency Powers Act do not suspend the operation of existing laws. The Regulations are read with existing laws and only take precedence where there is inconsistency.
  16. The Regulations were further amended through Statutory Instrument No. 62 of 2020. The major amendment include incorporation the definition of the word home, which includes masimo and moraka. The forms for permits were substituted to facilitate contact tracing of individuals. Further, a new provision was incorporated banning the importation or sale of tobacco during the state of public emergency.
  17. Additional amendments were made through Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2020, which I tabled today. The notable amendment includes giving the Chief Justice powers to suspend certain court procedures such as the timelines laid down in the High Court Rules, issuance of Directives relating to the detention, bail or remand of prisoners awaiting arraignment, trial or appeal.
  18. The amendment above also includes suspending section 18 of the Local Government Act, which provides for the filling of the seat of a member of Council within a period of three months.
  19. Further Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2020 incorporates an amendment which prohibits an industrial action during the state of emergency.
  20. The above instrument further provides that where a business is unable to have employees work remotely from home or where it is unable to pay salaries, the business may cease operations but that it shall not retrench or dismiss an employee during the state of emergency.
  21. This House is requested to approve the Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations, 2020 contained in Statutory Instrument No. 61 of 2020 as amended through Statutory Instruments No. 62 of 2020 and 63 of 2020.


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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