Botswana’s multi-million Pula outdoor advertising industry is dominated by foreign owned companies; Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlhogile Tshireletso has revealed.
When answering a question from Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkayigwa last week, Tshireletso admitted that there are more foreign owned companies in the outdoor advertising business that locally owned companies. Nkayigwa had among other things wanted to know the number of Batswana and foreign companies that are involved in outdoor advertising in Gaborone, as well as the amount of business received by Batswana owned companies as compared to foreign owned companies.
In response, Tshireletso revealed that there are currently nine advertising companies operating in Gaborone, six of which are owned by Batswana while three are foreign owned. However, while Batswana own the most outdoor advertising companies, they are accorded less business opportunities. Out of 308 approved advertising sites within the city’s boundaries, only 31 belong to Batswana owned companies while 267 are owned by foreign companies. 10 other sites are owned by non-advertising companies doing their own business. Tshireletso admitted that the domination of the outdoor advertising business by foreign owned companies was a cause for concern, adding that her Ministry was in discussion with Gaborone City Council (GCC) with a view to engaging outdoor advertising companies on issues of citizen participation in the industry. She also revealed that GCC has made some money from outdoor advertising, but however insisted that the council has not lost any revenue as a result of the moratorium imposed on outdoor advertising.
“The primary purpose of this action was firstly to decongest the advertisement sites to a minimum of 350 meters and standardize the size of the boards,” she said.