The embattle Lobatse abattoir is in need of over P2 billion in order to undergo a face lift. This was revealed by the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises last week.
In clear cut terms, the CEO stated that in order for the abattoir to be efficiently run, there is need for separation of the abattoir from the Francistown and Maun abattoirs, adding that it is running at a loss.
At his recent address in Francistown, Tombale also said the Francistown abattoir was bleeding the parastatal millions and would make economic sense if it was shut down. Amongst other things, Tombale said the current business environment does not support intended reforms at the Francistown abattoir as losses are weighing heavily on the parastatals’ cashflow.
“The above directly impacts on BMC cash flow and its ability to pay farmers within the stipulated time frame,” he said.
Before the parliamentary committee, Tombale revealed that government had injected P93 million into the parastatal, adding that there is need for Botswana to establish a proper meat regulator which would be followed by privatisation of BMC to allow for other players to compete in the market.
With regards to the Francistown BMC plant, he indicated that despite numerous intervention strategies put in place, the plant was running at a loss due to low throughput of cattle.