Monday, March 1, 2021

Gov’t salvages bits and pieces from collapsed glass projects

Trade and Industry Minister Vincent Seretse last week told parliament that a full assessment of the Fengyue Glass project and a full financial and legal history of the project have been reconstructed to provide a clearer picture of the project. He added that all creditors have been identified and legally lodged.

The project which is estimated to the value 440 million Pula collapsed on allegations of corrupt practices.
Fengyue Glass Manufacturing Company Botswana was incorporated on July 2007 as a joint venture vehicle between BDC and Shanghai Fengyue. It is understood that the provisional liquidation by the high court in Lobatse left government with debts running into millions.

When presenting his ministry’s budget proposals in parliament, the Minister added that liquidation of the project is also on-going.

Through the assessment, Seretse said, expressions of interest have been sent out to specialist firms to submit bids to conduct a full technical, market, logistical and commercial appraisal of the project based on what is currently on the project.

“The assessment is expected to take six months from October 2014 to April 2015,” he said.

On other issues, Seretse said a potential bid-rigging case of a total amount of P114 million has been brought to the Competition Authority for adjudication. “Such as intervention is expected to enhance business compliance to the Competition Act and hence improve the trading environment,” he said.

He said one major programme adopted has been to facilitate fair and free competition in the public procurement markets. “Development of Guideline and training of public procurement offices on how to detect bid-rigging has been achieved to date,” he said. He hoped that the a capital injection of P135.6 million and international experience by a new investor (Atlas Mara’s acquisition of shares in Banc ABC) would enhance completion in the banking industry.

“Competition Authority continues to monitor markets and enhance competition in the economy. Since the beginning of the current financial year, the Authority completed 20 mergers, two of which are expected to empower horticulture producers and facilitate entry of a small citizen owned enterprise in Cash in Transit and Alarm and Response Markets, which are currently dominated by foreign owned enterprises,” he said.

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