Gaborone — President Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Funeral Services Group (FSG) Limited for its contribution to job creation and income generation.
Speaking at the FSG Limited's 25th anniversary held in Gaborone on Wednesday, President Masisi said the company, whose portfolio of companies operate in coffin and tombstone manufacturing, funeral insurance services, Lyn's Funeral Parlour, Kagiso Funeral Parlour, 20 funeral homes across the country, as well as Phomolong Memorial Park in Gaborone, had grown in leaps and bounds over its 25 years.
"FSG Limited was started in 1993 from a small warehouse which was converted into a factory to produce coffins and caskets, after having accessed funds from the then Financial Assistance Policy (FAP).
I am informed that through their dedication and tireless efforts, the promoters transformed a small manufacturing company, employing less than 25 people, into a regional giant with significant market presence and an asset base of over three P300m, and employing over five hundred (500) employees," Mr Masisi said. As such, he said such companies deserved an enabling environment to further thrive.
The President thus pledged government's commitment to enable private enterprise to thrive, saying "one of the objectives of government is to promote home grown industries which generate jobs for Batswana, and that companies such as FSG, which has expanded into the neighbouring markets of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, contribute to the growth and diversification of the economy."
Again, he said government had planned to harmonise laws and regulation across different sectors with a view of improving the ease of doing business for both local entrepreneurs and foreign investors and boost the production of high end, export-oriented manufacturing in line with the ideals of the National Vision 2036.
"I am happy to inform you that during the implementation of the eleventh National Development Plan (NDP 11), government will intensify implementation of the Reforms Roadmap and Action Plan with measures such as review and enactment of laws in the areas of Investment Facilitation and Customs Control, among others," Mr Masisi said.
The company founder, Mr Milivoje Nikolic, described their journey from being a small company based in Gaborone, to becoming a regional player with annual revenue exceeding P165 million.
"What started 25 years ago as a dream held by my wife (Ms Lynette Nikolic) and I, have, due to determination become a diversified portfolio comprising the manufacture of coffins and caskets, funeral services, assurance, property and catering. But we operate in a stigmatised industry. I have often got questions like 'would you like people to die?"
However, he opined that midwifery as well as funeral services were important professions in the society in handling the initial and final stages of human life, birth and death.
"Where people lose their lives, we are always willing to offer a dignified sendoff," Mr Nikolic said.
Nevertheless, he said they were pleased with the significant decline in accidental death since the 1990s, due to campaigns by government and other stakeholders.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>