BY KABELO SEITSHIRO
While the government has decided to sell part – if not all of its stake at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), a strategy paper on how to go about it is yet to be finalised, PEEPA has said.
May 2019 has however been set as the target date to have put the strategy paper on the table which will set the ball rolling for a series of transactions that is likely to give local farmers a stake at the meat exporting agency. The privatization of BMC is envisaged to reduce the financial burden that the cash stripped state owned enterprise has been putting on government over the past several years.
PEEPA ÔÇô the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency, a government agency tasked with selling state assets to the private sector said this week that part of the key decision to be made entails opting whether to dispose all the shares at BMC or sell just part of the cash stripped meat agency.
Chief Executive Officer at PEEPA – Obakeng Moumakwa however said the privatization process will be in three stages. The first stage, according to Moumakwa, involves the passing of a Transition Bill and conversion of BMC into a limited liability company under the Companies Act.
The second stage, he added, will include the development of the privatisation strategy to provide government with various options and recommendations of what would be an optimal model for the pending privatization.
The final and last stage would then entail the implementation of the approved privatisation model once cabinet gives it thumps up.
“The choice of privatisation model will inform the likelihood of job losses. At this juncture, we cannot state whether there will be any job losses,” said Moumakwa.
At the same time, Moumakwa said the selected private sector partner will have to bring among others, better technologies, business partnerships and innovative service channels.
“There is need to stimulate entrepreneurship and investment which in-turn should accelerate economic growth. We want to promote competition within the beef sector, to promote BMC’s efficiency and improve its productivity,” said Moumakwa.
In March 2018, the Botswana National Beef Producers Union chairman Madungo Direng expressed hope that the move to commercialise BMC as a business entity jointly owned by government and farmers saying that the policy if handled with care and urgency will bring about much needed changes.
“These changes are necessary to improve producer’s prices and long term sustainability of the industry”, Direng said at the time.