Friday, December 4, 2020

Milling company fails to meet local demand, blames power cuts

The now regular power outages have badly affected the Bolux Milling Company, which is now failing to meet its flour production target for the local market.

The Ramotswa-based company has committed itself to supplying 80 percent of its flour to the local market.

Nkosi Mwaba, the Group Corporate Affairs Manager at Bolux, said the power outages are killing business as the company is failing to supply flour for the local market.

He said to meet the 80 percent target that they have vouched for, the plant has to run 24hrs a day.
“The number of hours we are losing due to power cuts has put our production in bad position,” said Mwaba. “It now appears as if we don’t have adequate capacity to produce what we promised, which is not the case.”

Meanwhile, the milling company has been forced to import flour from South Africa to meet local demand. “Circumstances have forced us to import flour hence conflicting with our argument on the wheat levy,” said Mwaba.

Local milling companies share the same sentiment that the 15 percent wheat levy should be retained; should the levy be scrapped a sufficient anti-dumping measure should be instituted.

Mwaba said the company is experiencing challenges with its retail customers that are not happy with their inconsistency. “At times the shelves are empty because we just cannot cope,” he said.

He said a 5-minute cut off equates to 2 hours of no production.”If we experience a power cut, it takes the plant 2hours to start running, making it a complex process because it is compromising our capability.”

The power cuts have caused the milling company to compromise and change their business model from manufacturing.

Mwaba said the Botswana Power Corporation seems not to understand how manufacturing companies run their business. “The ripple effect that will be experienced in three months will have a serious impact on the economy,” he said.

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