The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) this week once again took centre stage in Parliament as legislatures continued to debate the 2018/19 national budget.
In response to the Members of Parliament (MPs) budget debate, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo also joined the chorus of legislators drumming support for liberalisation the national beef exporter.
For a sustained period of time, BMC has been operating in a loss demanding financial intervention from government time and again.
The frequent visit to the government enclave by BMC has prompted fresh calls for privatisation of the entity.
“As I listened to the Honourable Members of Parliament debating I could see the reason they call for the liberalization of BMC. I am too convinced the facility should by now be liberalized,” Matambo said.
“With the machines in facility reported debilitated I therefore believe is time for the liberalization process to take place allowing those with potential to successfully and profitably run BMC,” he added, closing the debate.
Contributing to the budget the entire debate almost all MP’s from across the political aisle had no kind words about BMC calling for its immediate privitisation or liberisation of the beef market.
“During my tenure on the other side of the aisle I was amongst those who objected for the liberalisation of BMC…but now I could see the importance of the process,” said Specially Elected MP Mephato Reatile referring to his times as opposition MP, highlighting however his disdain for the privatization.
With incessant losses year in and out, MP for Mmathethe/Molapowajang MP Alfred Madigele is afraid of the sustainability by-product projects of the BMC facility, citing the envisaged Lather Park industry scheduled for Lobatse.
“While we take cognizant of the money we pump into the facility we should also bear in mind of the public funds we inject into the lather Park lest we throw money into another problem,” Madigele for his part cautioned, referring to the lather Park estimated at P350 million.
Upon commercialisation of the project, the lather Park industry is expected to create between 5000 and 10 000 jobs.
The facility, to be located in Lobatse is expected to start operations 2019 if things go according to plans.
Besides reducing the country’s record high unemployment rate especially amongst the vulnerable youths, the project is also expected to meet the much elusive diversification process for the country’s economy.