Thursday, October 28, 2021

Cresta Marakanelo could localise its top post

It is just a matter of time before the country’s leading hospitality group, Cresta Marakanelo names its new Managing Director (MD). The name cropping up is that of Mokwena Morulane, who is expected to kick-start his new role beginning of October 2017.

Morulane is currently the General Manager – Corporate Services at Botswana Oil Limited, where he provides strategic leadership in the implementation of effective operational support services in the areas.

He is said to have been head-hunted to replace Tawanda Makaya who together with Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Valentine Mganga were shown the door following a financial scandal that rocked the multinational hospital group in October 2016. 

Contacted on Friday, Cresta Group Board Chairperson Maria Nthebolan confirmed that the new managing director has been identified but remained cagey about the details of the identified individual.

She however committed that the company will make a formal communication regarding his appointment in due course.

“We will make the announcement beginning of October and we are still in the process of recruiting the company CFO,” said Nthebolan. 

For his part, when quizzed about his new appointment in the hospitality industry, Morulane said he is still an employee Botswana Oil and stated his designation.

“It is advisable to talk to Cresta board and management as I am not an employee of the company you mentioned,” said Morulane.

Morulane is said to have extensive experience in the resources sector. He was at some point the Country Manager for Discovery Metals Ltd. (DML) an Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) listed entity involved in base metals. Prior to joining DML he was Financial Manager of Gem Diamonds Botswana, a junior diamond mining company which recently sold its mining operations located in Central Botswana.

Ahead of him, Morulane is expected to turnaround Cresta’s recent recorded tepid results. Its total overheads decreased recently by 3 percent as a result of cost containment measures across the Group. In Botswana, Cresta’s operations continue to be significantly affected by industry pressures, with performance largely remaining subdued.

In the latest financial results, the Group stated that recovery is expected from 2018 onwards from significant capital expenditure on the refurbishments of hotels, contribution from the new Maun hotel and investment in Ghanzi; all of which will put the Company on a strong footing for future sustainable growth.

However at the capital markets, Cresta, which is listed in the domestic index of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), has not been doing so well. In January 2017 its share price at P1.28 and In May it went slightly up to P1.30. Fast forward to End of August 2017, the share price dropped to P1.28 and by 13th September the company’s share price traded at P1.29 at BSE.

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