Botswana is not performing well in the road safety sphere as the country continues to record high numbers of fatalities from year to year. The recorded deaths over the last three years are 462 in 2018,457 in 2019 and 325 in 2020.
According to the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Michael Tlhagwane, road safety does not only save lives, but it also reduces the resources spent on road accident victims.
These resources could be channeled to other challenges that we face as a country like the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and for economic development. As stakeholders we should work towards the same goal of “Zero road crashes to Preserve lives”.
Mr. Tlhagwane said preventing road traffic crashes is everybody’s responsibility and it involves appropriate behavior on the road, including obeying all road rules. In this era of COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are congested.
Therefore, if people continue to cause road crashes because of reckless driving, drunken driving, driving cars that are not roadworthy, as well as failing to observe road safety signs, we will end up having more road crash victims who need to be cared for. This results in putting more strain on our health care system that is already overwhelmed by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Road crashes pose a real threat to the economic development as those who sustain injuries and perish on road crashes are the youth who are the future of our beloved country. The social and economic trauma that comes with being involved in a road crash is far reaching, as many are left with permanent injuries leading to disability and children are left as orphans.
Road crashes can be avoided if we all practice safety on the road by planning our trips on time, avowing unnecessary movements, using road worthy vehicles, observing all road signs, and driving sober.
Mr. Tlhagwane noted that as of the 27th of June 2021, 179 people had lost their lives in road crashes, as compared to 119 deaths recorded as at the 27th of June 2020. He said the reduction in the number of road crashes recorded in 2020 was attributable to national lockdowns and movement restrictions between April and May 2020.
Statistics indicates that 95% of road crashes are caused by behavioral factors such as such as driving above the recommended speed limits, recklessness, inappropriate overtaking, distracted driving and driving under the influence of liquor and drugs.
One of the strategies that the Fund use to create awareness on speed is the use of the LED Speed Variable Message, which is a mobile Speedometer mounted on roadsides to monitor traffic speed.
According to Mr. Tlhagwane, as per the statistics recorded from the LED device placed in different speeding zones on 31st May 2021 with the device was placed on a 60km/h zone, 110 076 cars were recorded on the road and from this number, 48 575 were driving above the recommended speed limit. This means 44.1% of the cars were over speeding, and the highest speed recorded was 170km/hour.
The MVA Fund CEO also said they were seeing a lot more pedestrians involved in road crashes because they do not obey road safety practices.
“They do not adhere to basic safety practices like crossing the roads at gazetted spots. They also do not observe incoming traffic before crossing the road,” Mr. Tlhagwane said.
He added that pedestrians also have a habit of crossing roads while texting on their mobile phones or listening to music with earphones on.
“Even when drivers hoot to try and caution them of an impending danger, they do not hear the car horn because of loud music on headsets. We just want to encourage people to cross at gazetted spots and adhere to the basics of road safety,” he advised.
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.
“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.
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 email@example.com to find out more about Botswana Post’s virtual post box.