Botswana: Youth Firms Get P3m Boost

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Masunga — Kgalagadi Breweries Limited has spent close to P3 million to assist young Batswana to start their own businesses since the review of the Liquor Trading Act.

This was revealed by Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ms Bogolo Kenewendo during a kgotla meeting in Masunga on Tuesday.

Ms Kenewendo said liquor trading hours were reviewed to address public and business owners which included loss of business, jobs and indulgence in cheaper illicit brews.

The minister said the ministry continued to encounter challenges in the implementation of the act and had reviewed it with a view to exempt bottle stores, liquor wholesalers and liquor distributors from the 500 metres distance requirement from a school, highway, major road or church.

The 2003 legislation was enacted to regulate trade in liquor and to curb ills and harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption as well as to reduce proliferation of liquor outlets.

She said Botswana would be coming up with legislation on citizen economic empowerment to encourage Batswana to be actively participate in business.

Ms Kenewendo said the legislation would enable citizens to be active participants in business and enable them to benefit from the national economy.

Further, she said certain economic activities would be reserved for citizens and citizen-owned enterprises as a way of empowering and developing citizen businesses.

In addition, the minister said certain categories of tenders would be set aside for citizen owned companies only.

Minister Kenewendo said the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) existed to provide fledgling citizen owned companies with technical, financial and managerial assistance.

The minister raised concern that only four companies in the northern part of Botswana stretching from Francistown up to Kasane had registered to trade in bottled water.

She water bottling companies were concentrated in Gaborone.

She pointed out that bottled water was a lucrative business with a guaranteed market everywhere in the country.

Minister Kenewendo said government took a deliberate decision to stop the importation of bottled water with a view to enable local entrepreneurs to venture into the business.

She said six bills tabled by her ministry, most of them intended to make the business environment easier for players, were passed in the last parliamentary session.

She cited the newly introduced online registration system by the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA).

Ms Kenewendo said the registration system was in two phases with the first having started in June while the second was scheduled to commence in November.

In his welcome remarks, deputy chief, Kgosi Thabo Monaga complained about the Tshesebe-Masunga Road which had not been upgraded to a bitumen standard as promised.

Kgosi Monaga informed the minister about plans to build a multi-million pula library, expected to be completed in November this year.

Also in the pipeline, he said, was the construction of a mall and appealed to the minister to assist in identifying an investor to help kick-start the project.

Minister Kenewendo also visited Binos Bakery Inn in Mulambakwena owned by Ms Agness Azhanani.

Source : BOPA

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