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BTC Celebrates 40 years of technology leadership

BTCL MD: Anthony Masunga

Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTC) kicked off a program to mark its 40th Anniversary as Botswana’s leading and pioneering technology and telecommunications company enabling the socio-economic development of Botswana.

History

BTC was established in 1980 by an Act of Parliament to operate and manage Botswana’s national and international telecommunications services. Before then, telecommunications services were provided by the Department of Post and Telecommunications. BTC has made great strides from offering analogue microwave links to fixed telephony to become a converged telecommunications operator offering fixed (voice and data), mobile (voice and data) and broadband services.

Nteletsa Project
In 1999 BTC in partnership with the Government embarked on the Nteletsa project to bring telecommunications services to previously underserved areas. Phase two of the project which commenced in 2008 established Kitsong Centres (Internet Cafes) in 148 villages, as part of a rural telecommunications programme to bridge the digital divide.

Establishment of mobile service

In 2008, BTC launched its mobile service following the liberalisation of the industry awarding network operators service neutral licences. The network grew and expanded to cover almost 90% of the population.

BTC Listing

In 2016, the listing of BTC on the Botswana Stock Exchange, was a watershed moment in economic inclusion, bringing more than 50,000 Batswana into BTC ownership, the broadest shareholding of any company in Botswana.

Leader in digital and communication services

From providing rotary dial phones and operating manual telephone exchanges in 1980, BTC has now completed a digitalisation journey that started almost two decades ago. The company has evolved to partner with Government as the Nation transitions to a knowledge- based economy.

BTC Managing Director Anthony Masunga said: “We state in our purpose that ‘we exist to provide superior digital solutions to our people to enable them to live connected’. Our team of over 1000 people are exceedingly proud of our track record spanning 40 years. We are looking forward to celebrating a unique milestone of four decades with our customers and communities across the length and breadth of this country.

“We have transformed the business beyond telecommunications and broadband solutions, into all forms of digital and ICT solutions. In 2019, we commissioned the Sentlhaga Data Centre, the only local Uptime Tier Two Certified Data Centre in Botswana housing local and international content such as Facebook, YouTube Google and Classmate. We take the bold view that speeding up digital transformation is critical to helping the local economy bounce back from the debilitating effects of COVID-19,” he added.

Enhanced customer experience

To kickstart the transformation journey, BTC has launched a programme to reinvigorate BTC’s internal culture and customer experience to drive a positive trajectory into the future. “We are putting in place measures to offer excellent quality service to all our stakeholders; offering exciting products and services while giving back millions in prizes through various promotions such as our Hawkers Challenge, Recharge & Win and many more,” said the BTC Managing Director.

BTC Foundation 
Over the years, BTC has also supported a number of key local projects in the form of donations and sponsorships ranging from sport to the arts and skills development. Through the remainder of 2020 and beyond, the Foundation will continue to be the vehicle through which BTC delivers its CSI agenda with a focus on impact and sustainability to help the Nation, emerge stronger and more resilient in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mr. Masunga.

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Corporate

GATA LE RONA Comes To Completion

6th September 2021
BPOPF

The Botswana Public Officers Fund (BPOPF) is now mandated by law to have pension fund administration and investment management conducted by independent licensed entities.

This means that these functions must be fully outsourced. This became necessary due to the enacting by Parliament of the Retirement Funds Act in 2014 (RFA Act) and the promulgation of subsidiary legislation governing the RFA Act by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBIFIRA).

Therefore, the outsourcing project name coded Gata Le Rona journey comes to completion as the BPOPF hands over fund administration outsourcing services to NMG Administrators Botswana. NMG Administrators Botswana will be collecting contributions on behalf of the BPOPF, maintain all Member records, payment of claims, permit any excess cash to the BPOPF for investment and manage pensioner payroll. The BPOPF remains committed to building brighter futures together.

Following a significant 19-month long transition journey, the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), officially handed over fund administration services to NMG Administrators Botswana, as the outsourcing project comes to fruition. The project, which began in October 2019, commenced following amendments to the Retirement Funds Act (Section 15 (i).

Effective 2 June 2021, NMG Administrators Botswana will collect contributions on behalf of the BPOPF, maintain all Member records, payment of claims, permit any excess cash to the BPOPF for investment and manage pensioner payroll.

Noted CEO of the BPOPF, Mr. Moemedi Malindah, “This is a large-scale project and one we are proud to say was managed with the utmost diligence, with our Members at heart in all that we did and indeed continue to do. The BPOPF continues to engage all key stakeholders to ensure this transition is a smooth one.

Members can be rest assured that their pensions and benefits are not affected as NMG Administrators Botswana takes over the day-to-day fund administration tasks. This is a bright new chapter and we are more than ready and confident in the future.”

NMG Administrators Botswana is a joint venture between Lecha Administration (a company owned 100% by the BPOPF) and NMG South Africa. Lecha Administration owns 51% shares and NMG South Africa owns 49% shares in NMG Administrators Botswana.

“Re a leboga, Batswana, for your patience and support; especially our valued Members. We remain committed to investing in your golden years and building a brighter future together,” concluded Malindah.

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Corporate

BSB Expands towards financial inclusion

6th September 2021

“As part of the bank’s quest to fulfil its financial inclusion mandate, Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) has focused more on expanding its footprint across the country to take its services to the communities it serves during the 2020 fiscal period” said Nixon Marumoloa, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

According to the CEO, BSB’s focus in 2020 was expansion, visibility, continued mobilization and delivery of its inclusive finance agenda to provide simple, appropriate and accessible financial solutions to the under-served in a sustainable manner.

“In order to achieve our goal, the bank had to make compromises on some of our short-term goals in order to fulfil long term solutions to our customers. In advancing the bank’s financial inclusion agenda, we are proud to announce that BSB launched four (4) Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Gaborone, Mogoditshane, Old Naledi and Bokaa. This is in partial fulfillment of our strategy and commitment to our communities to ensure that our products and services are accessible to all. It gives us pride to be the sole service provider in these areas where financial services were previously non- existent,” Marumoloa said.

Botswana Savings Bank is currently approaching the final year of its strategic period of 2016-2021.  Marumoloa said BSB is now more determined to ensure that the Bank totally transforms to provide life events, cradle to grave products through digitised service channels for all income groups in Botswana and beyond.

Improved products will be launched into the market during 2021, moving on to 2022. The highlight product for the new financial year, according to the CEO is the Pensioners Loan facility.

“This product will ensure that the marginalised senior citizens continue to have financial freedom and access to financial services during their years of retirement,” he noted.

Further, the BSB CEO added that it is in the final year of the strategic period that the digitisation and integration programme will be executed and partially completed, with some elements overlapping into the following financial year. He said Point of Sales Machines will be deployed across the bank’s network to enable the phasing out of passbooks which will be replaced with Visa enabled BSB Debit Cards.

“As other banks close branches, we will open new branches and service points across the country to ensure we live up to our mandate of financial inclusion,” he stated.

The History of BSB stretches back more than 20 years. The bank has since experienced transformational growth, moving from a traditional bank to a 21st century financial institution with independent branches in Gaborone, Francistown, Serowe, Mahalapye and Hukuntsi.

The BSB Chairman Mr Kealeboga Molelowatladi added that BSB continues to increase its physical proximity to its customers as part of its financial inclusion mandate which has been embedded into the bank’s corporate strategy.

“Ultimately, our goal is to increase our footprint and brand visibility as we provide affordable savings solutions across the country,” he expanded.  Moreover, Mr Molelowatladi highlighted that The Bank is determined to ensure that it delivers on it’s five-year strategic plan by end of 2021.  He noted that the bank has embarked on various long-term projects that are currently work in progress.

These projects are part of the bank’s growth strategy with a focus to increase our footprint in Botswana.

Mr Molelowatladi stated that, this includes the opening of new branches across the country to ensure that BSB’s services are accessible to all Batswana.

However, he revealed that a major drawback in implementing the bank’s strategy was lack of integration of systems. As a solution however, he affirmed that the Bank is working on implementing new systems to improve the bank’s efficiency and effectiveness.

“We are looking forward to the phasing out of the traditional passbooks as we introduce digital channels and automate our processes for customer convenience. We remain confident that despite the rapid changes in our economic environment, our strategic priorities will enable us to drive sustainable growth for our business,’ he said.

During the same period, he also revealed that the bank identified a superior banking system that will be implemented and rolled out by 2021. He said, this banking system shall be the backbone in the bank’s digital transformation.  In his views, it is through this system that the bank will optimize its internal processes to provide a sound value proposition to Batswana and improve profitability of the bank by reducing the cost to income ratio.

The Bank continues to be profitable, with the year ended 31 March 2021 returning a modest profit after tax of P5.2 million due to pressure on both revenue and rising costs. Although the result could be easily read as a regression on the results of the year before, a simple reduction of the government grant received in the previous year paints a picture of a bank that is set to realize an improvement in its operating margins when measured by a significant growth in advances. The bank’s balance sheet continues to grow year on year.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, hinderances have become quite the norm but the Bank has managed to persevere and remain true to its strategic objectives. This reflects the undeniable resilience and the progressive leadership that is at the helm of the Bank. The expansion plans that are underway are a harbinger of the growth and success that BSB is on the verge of achieving.

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Corporate

Botswana Post introduces the -VIRTUAL POST BOX (VPB)

6th September 2021

As part of its promise to making service delivery convenient for its customers, BotswanaPost introduces its newest offering geared at enhancing the traditional post box as we know it.

This is also in line with our concerted efforts of making a significant impact in the digitization of doing business in Botswana as envisioned by our shareholder, the government of Botswana. In fulfilling our mandate to provide universal postal access to all, Virtual Post Box is a merging of our core mandate – provision of postal services in an efficient and cost effective manner.

The Virtual Post Box affords customers to register their mobile phone numbers to be used as their designated Post Box number to receive mail and related services from BotswanaPost. The customer’s mobile number will be linked to a post office of their choice for mail delivery. Furthermore, the customer also has a choice to opt for home/office delivery.

This is a departure from the commonly known traditional postal box characterized by the uniquely addressable, lockable box located on the premises of a Post Office station. Post Office boxes are rented by individuals or by businesses on an annual basis and the cost of rent vary depending on the type of box (Private, Individual etc.)

This offering is of value especially to Small, medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) as it provides them with the capacity to operate as one stop shops. The Virtual Post Box places clients at the forefront of technology, resulting in reliability of unmatched customer service.

The unique development of the Virtual Post Box fits into our strategy of bringing services to our customers with ease.  The service comes in at a time when the world is still dealing with the COVID – 19 pandemic and ensuring we operate within the prescribed protocol. This has necessitated transformation into the digital space.”  Chief Commercial Officer – Clifford Lekoko

“The virtual Post Box is in line with our Mission of “Providing affordable convenience through high quality profitable postal and diversified products and services” where we leverage on technology as a major business sustainability anchor in the face of diminishing traditional postal business. This will facilitate and enable E-Commerce for the diverse market we serve as it gives the customer power in terms of cost and tracking of one’s mail.”- General Manager Courier & Mail Business – Tumelo Mereyotlhe.

What’s key to note about this new service ;

  • Gives customers a smart and convenient way to manage their postal mail remotely
  • Its more affordable compared to the normal postal box
  • Saves customers time to visit the postal branch due to mail incoming notifications
  • Gives Customers an opportunity to re – direct mail to their current location
  • Mail is securely monitored via tracking system and safely stored in the post office for collection
  • Offers privacy of mail as the owner will be allowed to collect unless he or she has directed someone to collect on their behalf
  • The online portal gives a history of all customer mail acting as a mail management system making it possible to monitor the customers mail volumes
  • Anyone above the age of 18 can open a virtual post box
  • Annual Fee; BWP 200.00 Mass Market & BWP 2000.00 Business
  • Penalty Fee – BWP 5.00 per day for 30 Days (Cumulative) only
  • Storage Fee – BWP 5 .00 per day for 30 Days (Cumulative) only
  • Re – direction Fee – BWP 30 .00
  • Home / Office delivery – Per EMS tariff

For details customers can reach us on our customer line at +267 39 11 743, WhatsApp #    77537517 or send an email to enquiries@botswanapost.co.bw   to find out more about Botswana Post’s virtual post box.

End//

Media enquiries to be routed to

Communications Unit

Mobile: 71498632

Corporatecomms@botswanapost.co.bw

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