Items filtered by date: Friday, 21 September 2018 - Botswana Guardian
Friday, 21 September 2018 12:16

Letlapeng hits rock bottom

FOOTBALL
The now relegated Division One League outfit, Letlapeng, who are under the South East Region Football Association (SEFA) are said to have voluntarily removed themselves from the lower division  sighting financial problems and lack of resources. 

The Ramotswa team’s fall from the top was quick and merciless having relegated from the BTC Premiership after the 2015/16 season before another dramatic fall in the lower Debswana National First Division DNFD(South). The team that once played in the lush pitches and bright lights of some of the best venues in the country have failed to honour two away fixtures before they were summoned by SEFA.

During the first week of the season, Letlapeng did not show up to face Digodi of Mmankgodi on 8th September. “On 15th September in the second week of the league Letlapeng could not honour a fixture against Surprise XI   at Otse grounds,” said a source who preferred anonimity. 

The   source further explained that Letlapeng have been replaced by Saliva Spurs who were pushed down to the SEFA Division Two league after Letlapeng relegated from the DNFD.According to the source, Savila were never relegated to the Division Two league in the  conventional fashion.

There was therefore no need for Posh United and Masione, the second  and third  bottom teams in Division One to go for play offs to fill up the spot left by Letlapeng at Division One. The source further explained that Savila had not played any games in the Division Two league.  “Letlapeng were not able to provide registration cards or player blue books for their Division One campaign. The team did not provide a team list for the 2018/19 season.”

 Reached for comment on the matter this week, the SEFA Vice Chairman Kabo N. Tiro said Letlapeng left the Division One league on a voluntary basis. The team was required to provide the required documents to SEFA on a number of occasions. “On the third week of the season the SEFA league committee summoned Letlapeng”.  Tiro further explained that the report compiled by the committee showed that the team was not prepared for their season campaign.

Tiro said before the season can begin teams are required to submit information about the field they will be using, there is also the list of committee members and if the team has registered for affiliation. The SEFA VP said Letlapeng have basically suspended their competition activities for this season. However, he said the team   should not  find it hard to return to the league.

Published in Sports
Friday, 21 September 2018 11:34

Sedimo okays awards procedures

The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Chief Executive Officer, Falcon Sedimo says the current guidelines they use to choose winners of the Annual National Sports Awards will continue to be used until they are reviewed.

This follows an uproar that ensued when Botswana Badminton Association (BBA) Umpire Emmanuel Kgaboetsile was declared the winner of the 2018 Sports Person of the year last week. The award saw the sport fraternity that had filled Baisago Convention Centre frown at the BNSC’s choice of a winner.

This week, there has been a call from various stakeholders that BNSC needs to review its policies as it was not fair for administrators to compete with athletes for the Sports Person of the year award. The weekend turnout of events came more of a shock to some as the award has never been won by an administrator before.

When reached, Sedimo said that it might have never happened that an administrator wins the prestigious award but it was well within the guidelines. He added that if National Sport Associations (NSAs) feel that the guidelines are not favourable to any entity, the Associations are at liberty to state so and their desires will be implemented.

Quizzed if the BNSC does not fear there could be conflict of interest since decisions by coaches and umpires have a bearing or influence on the performance of athletes, he said, “Coaches and administrators have a code of conduct that regulates them. Anybody who misdirects himself or herself will be dealt with accordingly.”

Meanwhile, allegations making rounds are that the 400m runner, Isaac Makwala who was declared the sportsman of the year might not be in good books with the BNSC. The 2018 Commonwealth games gold medalist was absent during the glitz and glamour night after he had told this publication three days prior the event that he had not received any invite to the awards ceremony.

“Where is this coming from? The BNSC does not deal with individual athletes or players. The commission has a relationship with NSA’s who submit nominees for adjudication,” Sedimo said.The BNSC CEO further said that only NSA’s were charged with the responsibility to communicate directly with athletes.

Published in Sports

VOLLEYBALL
As the Mascom Volleyball league breaks ahead of the Botswana Independence celebrations, the men’s side of BDF VI and Police VI are headed for an interesting league finish.The uniformed forces are dominating the log standings with BDF VI, leading the race with 58 points after playing 20 games while Police VI accumulated 55 points in 19 games.

Both teams lost only one game to this end and as it stands, earning maximum points in all their remaining games will earn both teams 64 points. Nevertheless, the thrill of the game stands to unfold as the disciplinary teams are expected to lock horns on their very last game of the league. Should both teams walk into the ‘force clash’ with 61 points each, the outcome of the game will determine the 2018 champion.

The soldiers are scheduled to play a game against Spiking Stars before playing Police VI. As for the cops, they will play Kalavango and Prisons first and nothing but a win against the two teams will cement their chances of winning the league.
It is a tough call to make as to which team might win the league, as both teams are usually neck-to-neck with each other.

The latest episode saw Police VI men beat BDF VI 3-2 to lift the 2017 Capital Motors Cup. The Cops continued to dominate late last year when they thrashed Diphatsa to win the men’s final of the JB Sports Volleyball tournament. On the ladies’ side, fortunes are favouring the Mahalapye based Mag- Stimela as all the team has to do is to ensure they win all their remaining two games.

This will mean that the team finishes with 46 points while log leaders Mafolofolo can only manage 44 points if they win their remaining game against Police. Mag-Stimela is yet to play Kutlwano and Dynamites before ending the 2018 league. “I know what is at stake here, I defeated Dynamites and Kutlwano during the first round of the league and I will strategize to ensure I collect the crucial six points,” said Mag -Stimela Coach Maboka Molefi. Molefi said he is determined to rewrite the history books by winning the league however he is aware that Kutlwano and Dynamites will not offer him the championship title on a silver plate.

Published in Sports
Friday, 21 September 2018 11:17

Sitale optimistic ahead of ACC elections

CHESS
Former Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) president, Tshepo Sitale strongly believes he will return to Botswana next month as the new Africa Chess Confederations (ACC) President.The ACC presidential elections are scheduled for the 3rd October 2018 in Batumi, Georgia  alongside the 43rd Chess Olympiad. Sitale departs to the hosting city this coming Sunday. While in Georgia, Sitale will battle for the presidency seat with Lewis Ncube of Zambia and Essoh Essis of Cote d’Ivoire.

Speaking to BG Sport this week, Sitale expressed confidence that he stands a good chance of emerging victorious on the day. He says since he has diligently polished his assignment and given his rigorous campaigning strategies, he is bound to land the top seat.He was in Zambia mid last month where he met about 13 countries of the Southern and Central Africa to present his manifesto and recently returned from Dakar Senegal for the West and North side of Africa.

While in Senegal, he presented his ideologies to nine more federations.The plan is to survive the first round of the elections where the least voted candidate will be dropped. Should he proceed to the next second round, he will be looking to convince voters whose candidate would have lost in the first round that he is the right man for the position.

As far as leading the continent is concerned, he believes he has the right energy levels to stomach it all, “Africa is vast and each chess federation has unique challenges, therefore there will be need for the ACC president to appreciate the socio-economic challenges and culture in each country to be able to understand exactly what they need,” he said.

The aspiring Africa president said the continent has the potential to play the game well and master it, however funds to finance development projects is the number one enemy of many federations. As most federations prepare for the Olympiad, some he said, are faced with high costs of tickets to Europe. Sitale explained that FIDE provides travel subsidy, however it has proved to be insufficient as federations continue to suffer and struggle to finance all expenses that come with participating at the Olympiad.

He stressed that the lack of support made it difficult for Chess to grow in Africa. Sitale said he has grown to witness that there is little to no funding or even support structures to support the beautiful game of Chess. “I have realised that Chess is not a spectator sport, there is also serious lack of sponsorship and it does not help that even with the government prioritises, funds are normally channelled towards codes like athletics and football, with that we need to find other means of survival,” he said.

He is proposing that Africa Chess should foster strategic partners in future such as with Airline partners, saying it will come in handy as over 30 federations attend the Olympiad that is held every two years. Should he be voted president one of his priority areas will be to invest in grassroots development instead of gunning to develop grandmasters.

Botswana has only one grandmaster in Tuduetso Sabure and he is confident that aspiring stars such as Women Fide Master (WFM) Naledi Marape have what it takes to be grandmasters in future. Inspiration, he says should be drawn from India, “They have managed to turn corner and are now a leading chess nation, we can take a leaf from that as Africa.” He is particularly delighted that Botswana wishes to introduce Chess in Schools, saying it is a move in the right direction.

Chess is not just a board game but also taught in classrooms in Europe and some states in America. Sitale is of the view that Africa needs to adopt the strategy saying it will form as an educational tool and form of investment that education agencies use to assist the government.

Published in Sports
Friday, 21 September 2018 11:08

Govt establishes new postal, courier group

The merger process of Botswana Postal Services Limited and Botswana Couriers and Logistics (Pty) Ltd is expected to complete this financial year, Botswana Guardian has learnt.In November last year government approved the merger of the two parastatals under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Through the merger the companies will continue as one company being Botswana Post.

Botswana Post Group Secretary, Dzuke Baliki told BG Business that they aim to complete the process by the end of this year. “The process is still ongoing and we are working hard to fasttrack and complete by the end of this calendar year. Currently, we have not yet put up the new organizational structure.”

The merger will provide postal, courier, logistics and financial services to support the government’s agenda in providing efficient and cost effective services. He said they are working hard to avoid any job losses in this merger although there will be combined services from the two companies. “Our aim is to avoid job losses but it might happen,” said Baliki.

Botswana Post stated that whilst the process is underway, both entities will continue with their respective business and do not anticipate any interruptions in its operations in relation to customers, suppliers and partners. In its year ended March 2017, the organisation has reduced its loss position by 51.9 percent to P12.9 million compared to P27.4 million recorded last year.

In its 2017 annual report, Botswana Post Chief Executive Officer, Cornelius Ramatlhakwane said the parastatal has managed to expand its revenue base despite the fact that the mail business has taken a large hit during the period.  Mail revenues declined by 9.1 percent as many of the large institutional clients such as commercial banks and government agencies have migrated to electronic platforms. 

“We at Botswana Post see this setback as temporary. We now have access to leading edge innovations such as Reverse Hybrid Mail, which will enable us to pivot and revive these relationships with the important clients we served for many years. Through technology we are able to recover these income streams and even grow them,” he said.
To diversify revenue streams, Botswana Post leveraged on mobile technology and introduced the Botswana Post App which is available for download on both Android and iOS devises. Ramatlhakwane said their growth plans go beyond Botswana. They are currently in the process of generating revenue streams from within the region by completing money transfers with other postal operators.

The post is already transacting with Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. “We believe we can connect the entire region and will be in Malawi soon. Our intention is to do that and more, ultimately reaching out beyond the diaspora,” said Ramatlhakwane.

Published in Business
Friday, 21 September 2018 11:01

Architectural regulation improves workmanship

Once littered with several bogus practising professionals and repetitive series of inferior work such as Shakawe Senior Secondary School and the Dibete Police Station, the economy is now geared for quality workmanship with fewer red flags.Shoddy work by contractors and consultants in the construction industry that has haunted the economy over the past years is slowly coming to a halt.

Mmilili Mojiwa Kenneth, the Registrar at Architects Registration Council (ARC) says amid few perennial challenges, the Council, architects, architectural technologists and architectural draftspersons are gradually adhering to the professionalism call. ARC has since November 2015 been registering architectural professionals and has over 226 registered members in its register.

However, the number remains far below those anticipated in the market. “Though we think registration is slow, we intend to establish the reasons why people are reluctant to register and be compliant with the law as expected” said ARC chief who is optimistic the number will increase in the next two years. 

However, Kenneth’s immediate concern is that the public sector continues to disregard and flout the existing laws and requirements regarding the implementation of the law and procurement of architectural services.“Some local authorities – town, city, district and sub-district councils defy and continue to ignore numerous communication and advice to include and consider the Council’s statutory requirements in their operations which overlap with the mandate of ARC and practise by professionals,” said Kenneth.

As a result, ARC continues to receive complaints from members of the public on unregistered individuals practising architectural duties. Kenneth says the bogus architectural professionals are exposing the consumers and public to different types of risks.“If the environment is not regulated, everyone will be free to offer services and disregarding issues.

“We need to identify who is rightfully trained, qualified and skilled to offer the architectural services, so that we safeguard the public interest, people are being conned and cheated as we speak,” said Kenneth, highlighting that some individuals want the industry to remain unregulated. He said lack of legislation which prevailed before the Architects’ Registration Act (ARC 2015) has stained the industry, leading to several projects failing to be completed on time and budget.

Kenneth went on to say that government has been concerned that poor performance by consultants and contractors highly compromise the quality and standards of projects, and that issues of delays in practical completion of projects always overshoot the initial budgets.

“Through registration and regulation of the professionals and the activities of the profession, the need for professionalism, common practices and standards will be addressed.  “Our mandate is to ensure that through self-regulation, fundamental issues of professionalism, academic education, training and requisite professional experiences are fulfilled.” He said sloppy work and other concerns regarding poor or delayed delivery of desired architectural services is now declining in the construction industry.

“We really want to ensure that regulation efficiently addresses issues that previously affected the industry,” Kenneth said. Apart from keeping a register of architectural professionals in the country, ARC has embarked on validation of various architectural courses offered by various institutions in the country.

“We want the qualifications to address eminent issues of the profession and meet international standards,” said Kenneth, highlighting that skills mismatch with industry requirements are a result of colleges offering qualifications that are not aligned to the needs of the industry and the registration requirements. 

 Kenneth is confident that the industry is gradually upholding the required standards despite regulatory and industry challenges encountered.  ARC also has plans to embark on countrywide outreach activities to create and improve its visibility to all stakeholders.“This has been a challenge since the Council is at its infancy stage and thus has got financial and manpower capacity limitations, making it difficult to undertake its planned activities within reasonable timelines,” said Kenneth.

Published in Business
Friday, 21 September 2018 10:52

Investors scramble for BBS shares

In the first week of trading on Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)’s new Serala platform Botswana Building Society Limited (BBS) has shown good success with over 32 000 shares traded in the second week of trading.

BBS limited is the first company to trade on the newly launched Serala over the counter platform. The platform allows unlisted companies to trade on BSE. According to the weekly report by Imara Capital Securities, for the trading week ending 07 September 2018 (BBS having registered on the Serala platform on Monday 03 September), 166,626 shares were traded worth P183,289.00 while on September 14, and 32,236 shares were traded worth P35, 460.

In response to BG Business questionnaire, BBS Head of Marketing and Communications, Sipho Showa said acquisition of shares was a resounding success.“Many former Botswana Building Society shareholders bought ordinary shares in the new entity being BBS Limited.

Customers bought the ordinary shares using shares then known as Paid Up, Subscription and Indefinite Period Shares under the then Building Society. 25,862 existing shareholders bought a combined 487 million ordinary shares in BBS Limited.  He highlighted that BBS Limited will consider an IPO about two to three yearspost commercial bank operation. Currently, BBS Board indicated that they will submit the application for the commercial banking license at Bank of Botswana in the next few weeks.

Published in Business
Friday, 21 September 2018 10:38

Barclays increases capacity building efforts

Nine months after Barclays launched a plan to build capacity for SMEs, the bank upbeat about the scheme - Enterprise Supply Chain Development (ESD). “The unit is making steady progress and has successfully recruited four companies to the programme me that seek to grow SME’s by providing financing,” said Reinette van der Merwe, Barclays Managing Director.

She said the bank has also started construction of an ESD centre already nearing completion, where challenges faced by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be addressed. Van der Merwe believes SME sector is an important driver of economic growth and employment creation. Through the programme, Barclays accords an opportunity to companies to recommend some of the SMEs that deserve financial assistance in the form of loans and also get mentoring and training on record keeping.

This week Barclays hosted 20 young female farmers to share skills, knowledge and deepen relationships with the agricultural community.  “We believe that effective capacity building programmes and a vibrant extensive service are important interventions that can turnaround the agriculture sector and output and also contribute to both food security and GDP,” said van der Merwe.

The MD said agriculture is an important and essential sector, hence the bank’s support of various strategic initiatives across the sector including knowledge and skills transfer, exchange and training. Her sentiments were shared by Andre Potgieter, Barclays Head of Business Banking highlighting that more than half of Africa’s population is made up of young people. “As such, it’s very important for us to be working with young farmers, who are vital to securing Botswana’s food security,” said Potgieter.

Potgieter said agribusiness continues to be a very important sector. “We are keen to support young farmers as well as other strategic initiatives,” said Potgieter. Barclays MD has recently announced that the bank is motivated by delivering mutual benefit to shareholders, customers and communities.“Bringing possibilities to life for us means helping individuals’ customers, our colleagues, small business, corporate, economies and society at large to grow,” said van der Merwe.

Published in Business

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