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Tlou Energy searching for funding



Tlou Energy searching for funding

Tlou Energy has announced it is in negotiations with Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) to provide the initial capital required to start production at its Lesedi Coal Bed Methane (CBM) project.

In an update to stakeholders this week, the company revealed they expect to receive a funding proposal from BDC in the near term.

Tlou is aiming to become the first enterprise to produce gas-fired energy in Botswana.

The two are currently discussing the virtues of BDC providing up to US$30 million (P300 million) to develop the first 10 Megawatts (MW) of the Lesedi Gas-to-Power project, with a minimum of US$10 million (P100 million) required to connect 2MW to the grid.

Tlou further noted it is in discussions with other potential sources of funding should the agreement with BDC not materialise in a timely manner.

It claims to have received expressions of interest from third parties.

In September 2018, Tlou submitted a proposal to government for the development of a CBM Gas-to-Power plant.

It was subsequently selected as the preferred bidder for the project but is still awaiting further progress regarding the negotiations with government.

This led to Tlou admitting progress has been slower than expected, particularly in relation to Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

It, however, hopes the lengthy wait taken to advance a PPA will be resolved soon following the appointment of the new Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi.

Tlou explained the PPA timetable is not under its control but noted it continues to seek progress wherever possible to ensure the project remains on schedule to benefit not only its shareholders, but also the local population.

It is believed the population will profit from the development of a new industry through employment opportunities and a cleaner source of locally produced power, which will result in energy security for Botswana.

In addition to its target of becoming the first producer of Gas-to-Power in Botswana, Tlou is also looking into solar power production.

It is considering the merits in financing a concept of ‘low carbon power bond’.

This is because it is believed that solar energy, which wields strong interest in Botswana, works efficiently when supported by gas-fired base load power.

Besides the existing environmental approval for up to 20MW of gas-fired power generation, Tlou also has approval for up to 20MW of solar power generation.

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Beauty is my business



Beauty is my business

Bringing a touch of glamour to the tourist town me and my business

With her perfectly applied make-up, glamorous weave and sparkly, polished nails, Lindy Makakatlelo is a walking advert for the services she offers.

The glowing 29-year-old is the founder and owner of Sugadols Beauty Salon and Spa, a beauty parlour that has kept the women of Maun looking good since March 2016.

Located in Nhabe Musuem, the business provides a variety of procedures, including make-up, facials, eyelashes, manicures, pedicures and waxing.

The glamour is worlds away from the bubbly beautician’s introduction to the beauty industry, when she did stick-on nails and lashes in the dusty street outside the tourist town’s Delta Spar.

It is a transformation Makakatlelo describes as ‘her journey from grass to grace’.

Speaking to Voice Money, she explained the journey was made possible thanks to funding from Gender Affairs.

“After being funded my business offered beauty services, massage and hair dressing but I have since closed the hair dressing segments as it was not profitable. I now specialise on beauty services.”

The decision has proved profitable as Makakatlelo says she now makes enough money to sustain both herself and her business.

Unlike most girls, growing up she had no interest in beauty or fashion, only developing that passion later on in life following a potentially crushing set back.

“I was not into the beauty industry at first, I developed the love when I studied Beauty Therapy at Gaborone Technical College,” she said, explaining her dream had been to pursue a career in Journalism.

Agonisingly, the young entrepreneur was a point short of qualifying for government sponsorship to study Journalism.

Refusing to let the disappointment define her, Makakatlelo ensured media’s loss was beauty’s gain.

Sugadols Beauty Salon and Spa currently employs two workers but Makakatlelo intends to recruit more staff as the enterprise grows.

Beauty is my business
PROUD: The young entrepreneur outside her spa

Makakatlelo, who revealed she started the business to empower herself and others, encouraged women not to sit on their dreams.

“Do not be choosy when it comes to jobs, you should start somewhere to reach your dreams,” she advised.

As for the future, the ambitious youth, who confessed to being drawn more to nails as compared to other beauty services, hopes to have her own gel brand and a fully blown beauty spa soon.

According to the owner of Sugardols Beauty Salon and Spa, the establishment mainly uses social media platforms for advertising their products, including a vibrant, up-to-date Facebook page.

They recently hosted the first ever Miss Sugadols Beauty Pageant – an initiative Makakatlelo plans to hold annually – as a way of promoting their services.

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Delivering good news



Delivering good news

Botswana Post registers profit despite amalgamation costs

Botswana Post CEO, Cornelius Ramatlhakwane says the amalgamation of Botswana Post and Botswana Couriers and Logistics went according to plan.

Although he described the task as demanding due to government’s insistence that no jobs be lost during the process, Ramatlhakwane revealed it has been achieved despite the costs incurred.

Addressing the media recently, the CEO said the amalgamation of the two institutions presented an opportunity to maximize talent management by putting the correct people with the required skills in the right place.

The process, according to Ramatlhakwane, was a costly one as Botswana Couriers and Logistics was insolvent, with approximately P12.4 million operating losses and P30 million in unrecoverable debts.

Despite the costs incurred from the amalgamation, Botswana Post managed to register profit before tax of P6.2 million, a 51.5 percent increase from the previous year while revenue grew by 16.5 percent.

Revenue growth is reported to have been driven mainly by the courier and logistics business, which contributed 83 percent of the total revenue.

Besides incurring costs due to the amalgamation, Botswana Post experienced a 23.6 percent increase in costs of sales.

This was because of the 50 percent increase in employee costs as a result of the rise in staff complement emanating from the amalgamation process.

Meanwhile, providing an overview for the 2018/2019 financial period in the company’s annual report, Chief Financial Officer, Ofentse Mabote noted growth before inclusion of courier and logistics business was just 2.3 percent.

He said the sluggish growth was largely driven by non-traditional revenue lines which grew by 10 percent whereas traditional lines registered 7 percent growth with both lines said to be facing stiff competition.

The company is banking on PosoMoney and low cost money transfer products to protect its market positioning.

Meanwhile, Mabote says the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Postal Economic Outlook for 2019 anticipates all key factors that underpin the activities of the postal sector worldwide will continue to expand.

Therefore, he says in this environment, postal operators are trying to adapt their business models, shifting their focus to parcels, logistical and financial services.

He noted the amalgamation of Botswana Post and Botswana Couriers and Logistics comes at an ideal time as it positions Botswana Post to capitalize on this trend.

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ODLM holds long service awards



ODLM holds long service awards

They spend most of their days digging up and polishing the shiny stones that are crucial to Botswana’s economy.

Last Friday (22 October), however, they were the shiny stars.

In a glitzy ceremony held at Orapa’s Adrian Gale Diamond Museum, Orapa, Damtshaa and Letlhakane Mines (ODLM) paid homage to its long serving employees.

In total 169 workers were honoured, seven of whom were celebrating 40 years with Debswana.

Praising the award winners for their ‘commitment, endurance and loyalty’, ODLM General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani noted their contribution has helped transform the company into what it is today.

“I must say we are honored and thankful as Debswana management to have employees of your caliber – employees with passion, dedication and perseverance. To see so many of you marking milestones like this makes us proud,” gushed the GM.

Motlhabani further voiced his hope that the employees will continue working for ODLM and Debswana to lead the mining giant’s quest to ‘make life brilliant’.

The event’s Guest of Honour, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mmetla Masire described the occasion as a momentous milestone.

He labelled the long servers as people with ‘the skills, experience and knowledge that oil the institution’s seamless operation’.

Turning his attention to the impact Debswana has had on the country since setting up shop in June 1969, Masire said, “Debswana’s diamond mining activity has brought about remarkable growth, transforming Botswana from being one of the poorest countries in Africa to being one of its modern economic success stories.

“This transformation is due to the remarkable efforts of men and women who have worked for this company and those that we are celebrating tonight. Thus, it is befitting that you celebrate with pride, knowing the positive contribution you have made to the socio-economic development of this country.”

ODLM holds long service awards

He closed by thanking Debswana management for investing in and recognising its human capital through initiatives such as the long service awards.

“The role of long service awards cannot be overemphasized. They play an important part in motivating and engaging staff, retention of staff as well as strengthening a strong culture within an organisation that ultimately drives business excellence,” stressed Masire.

Reflecting on his 40 years with Debswana, Planning Coordinator, Jonathan Sesinye revealed he joined the organisation ‘when the road was bumpy’.

“It was very different from today. We were fetching water from a dam at Mopipi and it was very salty. And there was no power. I see many changes – even the pit was very small! Experiencing the transformation is extremely important,” stated Sesinye.

For her part, ODLM Psychologist, Martha Ntapu Mathumo, who has clocked three decades with the company, said she was able to raise her kids and grandchildren thanks to her employment with Debswana.

“I acquired many certificates under this company, it took me outside the country to learn a lot. I really thank Debswana,” said Mathumo.



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