Batswana have been urged to take advantage of the privatisation of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) as it is a major opportunity for citizen empowerment.
BTCL Chief Executive Officer, Paul Taylor raved this week: “Initial Public Offer BTCL is here and it belongs to us all. No Motswana should be left behind in this lucrative business.” BTCL shares were opened to the public on Monday this week. Government has finally decided to sell part of BTCL to local investors in line with its privatisation policy of 2000.
Taylor, who was speaking during a Kgotla meeting in Thamaga village, said 462 million shares are up for grabs. He said the shares cost P1, 00 each and will be available for purchase until 4 March 2016 at 5pm. “You can get copies of the Prospectus at all Barclays Bank Botswana branches, the company’s headquarters, select Botswana Post branches, BTCL retail outlets and select Choppies retail branches. The Prospectus contains information on how BTCL shares will be bought, talks about the company’s strategy and also contains the application form that one has to fill”.
The CEO stated that minimum participation is P1000, 00 and there is no maximum. Taylor explained that BTCL would start trading on the Botswana Stock Exchange on the 8th of April 2016. He said that for one to participate one should have the Prospectus so that one could understand the business that one is investing in. He said this is the chance for citizens to buy a piece of BTCL. The sale of BTCL shares marks the first concrete step by government to start privatisation.
Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo - under whom BTCL and another seven parastatals falls- said the sale of BTCL shares will be recorded in the country’s history books as the time government made Batswana part of BTCL. He called on Batswana to buy the shares even those in rural areas.
“Batswana will never go wrong if they buy these shares. I know the performance of this company. It has been under my ministry like other parastatals. The future is there at BTCL so every Motswana should ensure they get a piece of this company. We are looking at Batswana as individuals then Batswana companies. I urge all Batswana to buy these shares so that at the end of the year when we declare dividends they know they have something for themselves. BTCL is profitable than any other communications company,” Mabeo stated.