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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

School uniform conundrum: Textile Association takes retailers head on

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It is back to school and parents and guardians are running helter-skelter around stores in a bid to buy school uniforms. However, it has not been smooth sailing unlike previous years following government’s decision to impose ban on importation of school uniform by retail outlets.

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The decision by government has not been without consequences — from shortage of supply, to court battles and over pricing — Textile and Clothing Association insists the decision was necessary to boost locals and support economic growth. Amid the chaos, the association is adamant that the locals will meet the demand, and everything will normalize.

Vice chairperson of Botswana Textile and Clothing Association, Candida Montsho disclosed that, they had previously embarked on a two year market research period to determine school uniform pricing by their competitors, PEP and Ackermans stores

When addressing the issue of over pricing of uniforms by the local sellers, Montsho revealed that as the Association, they have moved to adopt the same pricing structure as their retail competitors, in the same vein, the association is also selling uniforms at giveaway prices to establish a form of trust in the consumer since they have been used to imported uniforms.

She continued to say they have engaged the Ministry of Trade and Industry and BURS to make sure that no retail clothing shops in Botswana are selling imported uniforms. “As far as we are aware there is no imported uniform allowed to enter Botswana in the year 2022/2023.”She said.

Furthermore, Montsho called on Batswana to report anyone selling imported uniforms to their Association, BURS or Ministry of Trade and Industry. “We are ready to go and confiscate,” she declared.

“As much as Batswana complain about the locally produced uniform, the government is doing its best to build and grow the economy of Botswana. Fashion designers, textile manufacturers and tailors in Botswana have not been earning just a bare minimum of salaries where they can support their families, own plots or land or be bankable, because we have not given them opportunity to grow their businesses to an extent where they can hire other Batswana.”

Montsho stressed that they should not just think of buying their children uniforms from luxurious shops like Woolworths but also think of where they want to see the economy of Botswana in the next ten (10) years.

“It is not about the individual uniform, rather it is about the economy at large,” she said.

Botswana Textile and Clothing Association is fighting for local manufacturers to grow, they said, because they want Batswana to know that locals have the ability to produce.

When commenting on the issue of PEP and Ackermans taking the government to court, Montsho said: “Unfortunately PEP and Arckermans were not able to meet with the local manufacturers and suppliers and have an agreement, but CB stores met Batswana suppliers and had an agreement, that is why there is uniform in their stores because they buy it from local suppliers and manufacturers.”

“PEP and Arckermans when we were trying to litigate with them the two (2) year period that we were given, that we all knew about the ban of imported uniforms since 2020, they were not willing to come to the party.”

Montsho says the reasons PEP and Arckermans were refusing to buy uniform locally was; they wanted to know capacity of Batswana manufacturers and suppliers, however because most Batswana do not have manufacturing warehouses that can occupy two hundred (200) to three hundred (300) machines and the ordinary manufacturer has eight (8) to ten (10) machines, they are still tailoring in their back rooms, but PEP and Arckermans wanted to meet manufacturers or suppliers with three hundred (300) or more.

“When we tried to ask them to group Batswana and work with them as clusters, they refused. And also the prices they wanted to buy from Batswana were ridiculously low, which means the manufacturer will be making a loss. Unfortunately Botswana is a land locked country, we don’t have an easy access to the fabric used for making uniforms, we will need to intergrade our fabric purchases through other countries, for example; for a person to buy a school shirt at fifteen pula (P15) that will not make sense to an ordinary Motswana manufacturer,” said Montsho.

She added that PEP and Arckermans were also not willing to change their prices and they were hoping the government will give them the license to import the uniforms.

In August, the government made a decision to ban the importation of school uniforms and this was backed up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry coming up with the Statutory Instrument no.76 of 2021, which currently restricts the importation of school uniforms.

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Dr. Judey Pretorius shines light on the path to True Skincare at the Renewal Aesthetics Convention

28th February 2024

At the heart of the recent Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, a gathering renowned for its cutting-edge insights into health and beauty, stood Dr. Judey Pretorius, a luminary in the realm of biomedical science and skincare innovation. The award-winning founder of Biomedical Emporium captivated attendees with her profound understanding of skin health, bridging the gap between regenerative medicine and everyday skincare practices.

Dr. Pretorius, celebrated for her contributions to the field, delved into the uniqueness of individual skin types, drawing an intriguing parallel with a biblical quote, “I knew you before I created you.” This analogy underscored her message that just as no two fingerprints are alike, the same holds true for our skin. It was a compelling call to action against the one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, urging attendees to embrace their uniqueness and cautioning against the imitation of others’ skincare routines.

Highlighting the importance of personalized skincare, Dr. Pretorius emphasized the need for professional guidance when addressing skin concerns. “Seeking help from professionals trained in skin treatment and management is crucial,” she advised, pointing out that what works for one individual may not necessarily be effective for another due to the distinct nature of each person’s skin.

Beyond the surface, Dr. Pretorius expanded the conversation to include the intrinsic link between nutrition and skin health. She posited that a healthy gut is a precursor to radiant skin, suggesting that “sometimes, the skin acts as a window to what’s happening inside the body.” This perspective not only highlights the external indicators of internal well-being but also serves as a reminder of the holistic approach required for genuine skincare.

In her discussion, Dr. Pretorius also touched upon essential products that should find a place in everyone’s skincare arsenal, though she remained adamant that professional consultation is key to effectively addressing and potentially reversing certain skin conditions and damage.

The Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, renowned for bringing together thought leaders and innovators in the beauty and wellness industries, provided the perfect platform for Dr. Pretorius to share her insights. Her session was not just an educational journey into the science of skincare but also a reminder of the deeply personal journey to understanding and caring for one’s skin. Attendees left equipped with the knowledge that true beauty and skin health begin with recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of their skin, advocating for a tailored approach to skincare that mirrors the individuality of each person.

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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