Government has revealed using the struggling financially strapped National airliner, Air Botswana for sending off the Botswana Defence Force troops for the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).
President Mokgweetsi Masisi stated on Monday that government through the reset initiative is working tirelessly to reinvigorate the local economy and will be sourcing some of the services for the mission locally.
“This is just an illustration of this commitment, to ensure the survival of hard hit sectors of our economy and their value chains,” said Masisi.
He is of the view that the airline industry and its sister sector of tourism are such economic sectors that need to be revived. He further stated that the deployment comes at a time when the country is facing economic challenges which have been exacerbated to a great extent by the Covid-19 Pandemic which is inflicting enormous health, economic, and social damage to all nations. He said it is for this reason that the mission sustainment will be undertaken on a cost sharing basis between the SADC Secretariat and Personnel Contributing Countries.
“I am thus heartened by these initiatives by your ministry to focus on these even as we deploy externally,” said Masisi.
Government had for many years that the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency (PEEPA) is reviewing an operating model for Air Botswana. The Agency (PEEPA) and Deloitte Consulting as transactional advisor; have been previously progressed well through phase one and that Phase two stage will soon commence to round up the strategic choices for the shareholder, which is government.
PEEPA has been involved in three privatization attempts between 2000 and 2007. Government took a decision to privatize Air Botswana in 2017 and the process was preceded by review of the operating model for the entity before privatization. The agency has also been reportedly submitted recommendations on the review of Air Botswana’s operating model for consideration by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in August 2020.