A condom factory run by the Botswana Medical Aid Society through its investment arm, South View is ready to start operating.In an interview with Botswana Guardian this week, South View Business Development Manager Thulaganyo Molebatsi said to date, they have tested equipment, validation, procurement of raw materials and recruitment. License applications are being processed with relevant authorities, following which production will commence. They have employed 20 people and once fully operational, they anticipate a 100-strong worforce with the majority (over 95 percent) being citizens.
South View currently administers the BOMaid fund, a function which involves membership recruitment and relationship management, subscription collection, claims management (adjudication and payments), benefit design, administration and management, tariff negotiations and agreements with health care service providers and service provider relationship management. South View’s 100 percent subsidiary Alpha Access, is running the factory. Molebatsi is adamant that there is a market for condoms and other medical products in Botswana and in the SADC region. They estimate a local demand of 36 million condoms per year. “Most of condoms are imported and our company was set up as response to this demand,” he says, adding that their target market comprises government, corporate bodies and donor agencies. With Southern African region consuming about 1.5 billion condoms per year, BOMaid is not limiting itself to one specific market. Already they have enquiries from South Africa.
Prior to the establishment of the factory, Molebatsi says BOMaid carried out a research from which they know the markets that are within reach, as well as what they need to do to penetrate those markets. “We also have a very good understanding of the pitfalls in this business and we are very well informed about our way forward,” he says, explaining that issues of quality and brand perceptions as well as good supply chain for raw materials are paramount in sustaining the business.
Locally manufactured condoms have been dismissed over concerns of poor quality, something BOMaid promises it will not compromise. They have employed quality assurance manager who will ensure that the quality of condoms is maintained to the highest standard. Through Alpha Access, South View purchased the assets of Latex Medical Products, a company that liquidated in 2012 and was in the business of manufacturing latex condoms and other medical products. It had supplied government with male latex condoms.