The Chairperson of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) board, Daphne Matlakala has announced the adoption of new management reform strategies as per the interest of its shareholders.Matlakala said the journey that the company has travelled so far has not been any easy one, as it faced a lot of hurdles which they are working out to overcome.
“The BCTL of yesteryear is slowly becoming a thing of the past because we now have a larger shareholder base and interests that we have to serve,” said Matlakala last week at the announcement of company financial results for the year ended March 2016. Matlakala assured the minority shareholders that they would cater for their needs despite the government being a major shareholder. “There are those who are worried that the government is still the major shareholder with 51 percent shares but the management is very clear about the interests of the shareholders across the board. The minority shareholders’ interest are going to be considered and taken on board,” the board manager.She added that the management is set to transform the company into a more customer centric business entity.
“We want to assure all that we know our story and we have a plan going forward,” she said. Asked about the rationale behind not renewing the managing director, Paul Taylor, contract, which ends on July 19, at a time when the company has new shareholders, Matlakala said, “the board has applied its mind to this issue and decided to allow someone to take over the company. To many people, it does not look like a very wise decision to change the MD at this critical stage,” Matlakala said and added that Taylor was brought for a specific mandate to list company on the local stock exchange.
“Mr Talylor has been working with a competent team and I believe the board has always been there to provide all the direction to the company to be listed. When Paul came in, he really put a lot of effort, energy and knowledge to share with the rest of staff particularly the committee that he has been working with”.Meanwhile, the BTCL annouced sharp loss of P371 million in its maiden full year results up to March 2016.
According to the company’s financial results for the year ended March 2016, the loss was due to impairment exercise that happened this year. However, the group was quick to assure its now thousands of shareholders that all is not lost and they will bounce back as a multi-pronged strategy was in place to ensure the company is well placed for the future. A carefully crafted statement from the country’s biggest telecommunications group by any measure reads that an impairment amount of P522 million represents a write-down of some of the property, plant and equipment due to technology changes, which is in line with global trends.