Weak South African rand against the pula has led to an influx of South African commodities into the local market.
Botswana Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BEMA) have bemoaned the development, which threatens to escalate competition for local producers. “The situation, however, has gotten a lot more adverse, as Botswana has resorted to a nationwide lockdown,” Mmantlha Sankoloba Chief Executive Officer told Botswana Guardian Online on Friday.
As a result of the development, Sankoloba said more job losses should be anticipated, as companies suffer losses on production and resort to retrenchments, to cushion further damage. Sankoloba said other industries that will be affected will be the transport industry, as public movement will be highly restricted; transport owners will incur severe losses.
“The tourism sector has recorded losses from the onset of first news regarding the pandemic and has since been on a decline trajectory or downward spiral,” Sankoloba said. She appealed that government should foster synergies with the private sector, on deducing strategies and mapping a way forward.
“The government in addition to its proposed economic stimulus package for businesses could also consider freezing short-term credit options for SMME’s or highly affected businesses for a quarter-duration, this in effect being to assist with company cash-flows to lubricate operational activities.
“These credit arrangements or measures are currently in place in European nations such as France whilst the stimulus options have been availed worldwide,” said Sankoloba. Despite the challenges anticipated, Sankoloba has called for strong synergies and transparency to ensure progress and sustainability.
“The future maybe looking gloomy but there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.