The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is moving to bail out its closed fruit juice company in Ramotswa, which has soured the livelihoods of some 120 people in lost jobs as a result of closure.
The fruit juice company closed recently on account of financial constraints. The BDC board members are said to have acted swiftly to get the fruit company functioning again after the corporation’s image was blighted by a number of project failures that have raised the eyebrows of tax payers.
The corporation has intentions to bail out the Boatle-based fruit company with an undisclosed amount. The BDC’s spokesman, Gomolemo Zimona, confirmed Friday that the BDC board had made a presentation to the country’s biggest investment arm to rescue Golden Fruit.
Golden Fruit has, since 1997, made market strides in the southern African region. This notwithstanding, the company has, for unexplained reasons, failed to make remarkable financial gains reflective of its market presence in the region to show for it resulting in the closure and the resultant loss of jobs.
“We are not in a position to discuss operational issues at Golden Fruit. The Botswana Development Corporation Board has written to the corporation asking for a rescue package the details of which I am not at liberty to disclose at the moment,” Zimona said Friday.
The BDC spokesman says the corporation has invested P24.5 million in the company. Zimona would not give specific time frames within which the BDC is expected to get the company up and running. The juicy news comes as more and more questions are being asked over the BDC’s several project failures.
While the BDC has admitted challenges, the corporation says it can look back with pride as it has been successful through many subsidiary, associate and affiliate companies to establish landmark projects which contributed to the economy of the country. The BDC has to date made equity investments through its subsidiaries and associate companies.
One of the relatively new BDC projects in manufacturing – a food can manufacturing plant located in Lobatse and which started operating in 2007 – has its own operational problems. The company was set up with the primary objective to develop and drive the food canning industry in Botswana, starting as a can supplier, and then moving on to develop actual food canning projects, downstream project development loan facilities held with subsidiary, affiliate and non-affiliate companies, through partnerships or joint venture developments.
The BDC is also involved in the property portfolio projects through its Botswana Hotel Development company, Malutu Investments, Riverwalk, Fairgrounds Holdings, Western Industrial Estate, Residential Holdings and Commercial Holdings.