Government has confirmed that it is in the process of renewing the contract term for the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTCL) board of directors. Speculation is rife that the current BTCL chairman, Leonard Musa Makwinja, could step down from the board chairmanship even before his term expires.
On Monday, Minister of Transport and Communication, Nonofo Molefhi, revealed that he is in the process of forwarding recommendations for contract renewals for BTCL board members to cabinet.
However, he remained tight lipped as to who would replace Makwinja as BTCL chairman. As BTC board chair, Makwinja, a mining engineer by profession, has been the brains that provided much needed strategic direction to BTCL, after taking over from Wilfred Mandlebe, an economist.
He took over the helm of BTCL board in April 2005 and his third term was expected to end in 2015. It remains unclear why Makwinja is leaving the BTCL board.
Currently, members of the BTCL board include Dr Geoffrey Seleka, Choice Pitso, Alan Boshwaen, Serty Leburu and Daphane Matlakala. In July 2011, then Minister of Transport and Communication, Frank Ramsden, appointed Paul Taylor as BTCL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to replace Thapelo Lippe, who was widely credited for turning the fortunes of the state-owned telecommunications outfit around in his short stay at the helm.
Recently announcing the company’s financial period 2012/2013, under his leadership as the CEO, Taylor said the Corporation recorded a significant growth with revenues once again surging past the billion pula mark to stand at P 1.375 billion compared to P 1.187 billion recorded in the 2011/2012 financial period.
He also highlighted a growth of 16 percent from previous years and added on the profit before tax that increased by 20 percent from P237m recorded in 2011/2012 to stand at P284m in 2012/2013 with the operating margin growing to 21 percent from 20 percent in the previous year.
Also BTCL total costs increased by 14 percent from P992m to P1.130 billion compared to the previous financial year.
The company’s revenues were largely driven by its mobile network which saw a 58 percent increase to record revenues of P325 million for the period compared to P206 million in 2011/2012. Revenue from Data and Private Circuits saw a 12 percent increase rising to P 510 million from P455 million the previous financial reporting period.