BPS, BSB merger takes shape

Government has moved swiftly to establish a holding company which will own all assets of the soon to be merged Botswana Post and Botswana Savings Bank (BSB), despite that some bills required for the merger are still to reach parliament floor.

It was not possible to get a comment from Transport and Communications minister Nonofo Molefhi on Wednesday to explain why government is ‘rushing’ to set up a holding company, whilst bills, which are supposed to be passed and/or amended for the merger of Botswana Post and BSB, are still to be discussed by legislators.

It has emerged that the recently established holding company will have three subsidiaries, which will house banking, postal, and courier services for the quasi-government institutions.

This week Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) notified persons interested in serving in the board of the holding company to apply to Chief Executive Kgotla Ramaphane. In a statement, PEEPA explained that ‘the draft constitution of the holding company for the merged Botswana Savings Bank and Botswana Postal Services provides for the creation of a holding company’.

A source has told BG Business that once established, Botswana Post, BSB and a unit of Botswana Post-Botswana courier will share among others a group Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Human Resource Manager.

Currently Leatile Maine is Managing Director at BSB, Pele Moleta is leading Botswana Post while Leatile Medupe drives the subsidiary Botswana Couriers. At present, Botswana Couriers, a unit of Botswana Post currently provides courier services, the latter provide postal and allied services while BSB is involved in the provision of domestic savings platforms by accepting customer deposits, granting loans on commercial terms and other financial services.

It is not clear if a totally new company will be formed to replace the above entities after merger. Moleta told BG Business on Wednesday that he is aware of government’s intention to form a holding company for public entities they are heading, but would not shed more details referring the matter to government.

When addressing parliament ICT committee late last year, Director of Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services said they are in the process of issuing drafting instructions to Attorney General for the drafting of the Botswana Postal Services Transition Bill.

Onalenna Sechele said the Transition Bill allows BPS to be converted into a public company. She added that parliament in its last sitting has passed Botswana Postal Services Amendment Bill, 2011, which converts Botswana Postal Service from a commercial organisation of government to a Body Corporate.

Botswana Savings Bank Transition Bill, 2011, allows the bank to continue with its operations while the process of converting it into a company is yet to be passed.It was not clear if the above bill would be presented to the upcoming parliament session.

Parliament is yet to release a list of bills which are to be debated by the house, said an officer from the National Assembly on Tuesday. Government has also passed Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) Act. BOCRA will regulate the merged entity, together with private players.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:21

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