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JSE lifts Choppies trading suspension

The founding directors of Botswana and JSE-listed retailer, Choppies Enterprises Limited (Choppies or the Company or the Group) backed the Groups turn-around strategy to the tune of just over P11,000,000.00 million recently.

Messrs. Ramachandran Ottapathu and Ismail Farouk acquired 18597724 shares on the open market at an average price of approximately 63 thebe per share on the Botswana Stock Exchange in a slew of transactions at the end of October.

As a management team, we faced numerous challenges during the past number of years. The retail environment continues to experience headwinds, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. As a significant shareholder and director, I am confident that the worst is behind Choppies and that were close to the bottom of the cycle. Our investment strongly aligns us with shareholders as we now focus on further improving corporate governance and growing profitability, comments Chief Executive Officer Ramachandran Ottapathu.

The founding directors are currently involved in litigation against the Companys former auditor and audit partner for delaying the publication of the Companys audited results following breaches of independence and unlawful changes to the scope of the audit. This resulted in the suspension of trade in the Companys shares on both the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) where it holds a primary listing as well as on the JSE Limited (JSE).

The JSE lifted the suspension of trade in the Companys shares, following a similar decision by the BSE in July this year. Botswana based Kwabena Antwi from Kgori Capital says that shareholders will take courage from the fact that the Group is now current on its financial statements, following the BSEs lifting of the trading suspension.

Shareholder confidence is usually linked with shareholders returns. Getting Choppies back to an overall profitable position, where they are capable of paying dividends will go a long way in shoring up shareholder confidence. The next phase will focus on implementing governance structures throughout the Group. Some progress has been made, but there is still more to be rolled out, he says.

At the presentation of the audited financial results for the year ended 30 June 2020, the Company said it has discontinued or disposed of its lossmaking operations in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. This resulted in a once-off loss of approximately P371 million from discontinued operations and an increase in negative equity to P467 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.

The board of Choppies considered the 2021 budgets, detailed cash flow forecasts that were stress tested, as prepared by management, banking facilities and covenants, undertakings of financial support by the founder shareholders, the economic outlook of the countries in which it operates as well as the possible future impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on the evidence provided by management, the Board concluded that the Group has already taken the necessary steps to remedy the past situation by discontinuing loss making operations the Company and the Group should be a going concern for the foreseeable future.

As founder shareholders we remain committed to the turn-around strategy of Choppies, and confident of growing profitability in the short to medium term, says Ottapathu.

The turnaround at Choppies follows implantation of turnaround strategy to improve corporate governance and exit of underperforming operations in South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania

Corporate

Sister In Law Empowers Women through Law

4th August 2023

This past weekend, Botswana‘s ambassador of Sister in law movement hosted 120 attendants for the I am Lady Justice Workshop. The workshop is said to empower women through legal education.

The topics that were discussed during the workshop included; Marriage, divorce, child maintenance, wills, employment law, cyber law and financial literacy.

Sister in law is a movement from South Africa that was founded in 2018 by attorney Tebello Motshwane.

Giving a background of how the movement started in Botswana, Tebele said she was inspired by her shared vision with the founder of sister in law to empower women through legal education.

“I came to learn about sister in law through social media. I flew down to Johannesburg to attend the first sister in law workshop in March 2019, met with Tebello, the founder and gelled. The rest is history. I am now the Botswana ambassador of sister in law” Tebele said.

ABOUT SISTER IN LAW

When giving her remarks, founder of the sister in law Tebello Motshwane revealed that her mother’s divorce inspired her to start the movement.

“Sister in law started as a Blog and was inspired by my own mother who went through a divorce so I became very interested in studying the law because my grandfather always advised me to study law so I can understand why certain things happened when going through a divorce.”

She said after studying law she started the platform as a way to ensure that other women will never find themselves in the position that her mother was left in –divorced with two minor kids in Johannesburg not knowing where to start.

“Some of the information is crucial so you would wonder why women are being disempowered because they cannot afford a legal consultation. So I decided to make this information available online so women can be empowered.”

Motshwane further alluded that the project is a personal passion that she took on to herself to say that the next women who could not afford an attorney would at least have a direction a guide to start.

“Women are already there browsing through make-up, jokes, tick tock so you may as well be empowered as well, so that’s how sister in law came about.”

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Corporate

Wine enthusiasts gear up for an unforgettable adventure at the First Wine Show

26th May 2023

First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) is pleased to announce that the highly anticipated First Wine Show is back, and wine enthusiasts are in for a memorable experience this weekend from Friday 26th May 2023 to Saturday 27th May 2023 at Molapo Piazza. The annual event brings together wine enthusiasts to indulge in a world of flavours and connect with fellow connoisseurs and experts in a great ambiance. “We are excited to host and interact with wine lovers this weekend and promote the lifestyle brand that FNBB is. This event gives us an opportunity to mingle with our stakeholders in a relaxed atmosphere of great wine coupled with the best culinary experience,” said FNBB Director of Retail, Ms Monkgogi Mogorosi. She also mentioned that the event promises to be a remarkable fusion of refined tastes, cultural appreciation, and captivating interactions and provide attendees with a great experience, highlighting that the Bank has partnered with Tamasa Trading to make this possible. The two-day event will start with an exclusive invite only engagement for Premier and Private clients which affords the Bank an opportunity to unpack its value proposition while promoting networking amongst attendees. This will be followed by the Saturday engagement open to wine lovers by purchasing tickets for only P 250. There will be 100 different types of wines available from 13 privately owned wineries ensuring the quality and exclusivity of the wines. Patrons will be spoilt for choice with multiple internationally awarded wines and South African award-winning wines available for tasting. All the wines available for tasting will also be for sale at the event at special prices. The wine show is expected to attract a large crowd as it is one of the most sought out lifestyle events in the calendar.

Patrons can purchase tickets at the below selected outlets: • Riverwalk – Webtickets Kiosk • Online- www.webtickets.co.bw • Maru-a-Pula School- Maitisong • Spar Stores – Kgale, Broadhurst, Molepolole, Mochudi, Airport Junction, Village, Maun Delta, Nswazi, Nzano, Serowe, RailPark, Kanye, Acacia, Kgabo, • Mahalapye, Palapye Junction, Boiteko, Orapa, Kasane, Lobatse, Tsolamosese, Gantsi, The Fields, Marang, Letlhakane and Mafenyatlala. • Choppies Stores – Westgate Mall Gaborone, Selebi Phikwe Mall, Tsabong, Jwaneng, Tati Town Francistown, Metsimotlhabe, Zeerust Road Lobatse.

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Orange Botswana Continues to Invest in the Youth Through Digital Schools Programme, Celebrating Thankane as 52nd School Engaged

3rd October 2022

In continued efforts to empower young students across Botswana through the Digital Schools Programme, Orange Botswana through the Orange Foundation don handed over digital equipment worth P53, 731.50 to Thankane Primary School, located in Jwaneng.

We are excited to be in Jwaneng and to see yet another milestone for impact being delivered. This relationship began with a view towards working together inclusively and sustainably – give children greater access to quality education. This is, after all, a key goal within our Vision 2036 and even of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is also core to our values and beliefs system at Orange Botswana. Our Digital Schools initiative is a true testament to the Orange Botswana Foundations unwavering commitment, loyalty, and support towards the youth of Botswana, said Benson Lenong from Orange Botswana.

Donated equipment includes but is not limited to:

  • 50 tablets loaded with local syllabus content
  • 50 headsets
  • 1 Video projector
  • 1 Raspberry servers
  • 1 JBL Speaker
  • 1 Laptop
  • 1 Case (to contain the package)

The Orange Botswana Foundation, in partnership with the Government of the Republic Botswana, embarked on a quest to empower and educate the youth of the country through giving them better access to technology through Governments Education & Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP). Orange Botswana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Basic Education and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in 2017, to kickstart a pilot of the Digital Schools Programme in 2018. The programme has seen 16,225 students benefiting from deployed schools, with 102 teachers trained in using digital kits as a mode of teaching. Thankane Primary is the 52nd school being engaged as part of the nationwide initiative.

The Orange Digital Schools Project is all about utilisation and integration of ICTs in learning, while at the same time addressing issues of digital inclusion and digital literacy. The Programme aims to bridge the digital gap by leveraging technology to improve access to education in primary schools such as Thankane.

Thankane Primary School was established in 1989 with 324 learners enrolled from Jwaneng and surrounding communities. The school continues to perform well in the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), and consistently works to ensure children learn vital life lessons both inside and outside the classroom. As one of the highest-ranked academic schools in the South region, Thankane Primary boasts excellent academics, leadership, sports, and culture.

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