Saturday, January 22, 2022

Petroleum businessman scolds Botswana’s bureaucratic red tape

A local Gabane businessman, Khei Modiagane, has blamed the delays to operate a filling station on the bureautic red tape that he says could kill many business in the country.

Modiagane’s observation follows recent delays in the opening of his fuel filling station located in the village.

The filling station, a franchise of Shell, started its operations in mid January, but was only officially unveiled last weekend.

“The Land Board authorities will not relent easily for this piece of land. They thought I was day dreaming to venture into the business,” Modiagane said. “They asked me where I will get the money to finance my project.”

The National Development Bank (NDB), which he also approached, was reluctant as the bank asked him who his suppliers would be.

“But Shell came to my rescue,” he said.

The new filling station is a partnership between Modiagane and Vivo Energy Botswana which now supplies oil lubricants to the new enterprise.

Modiagane started the idea for the only filling station in the village in 2004 and it took him almost 10 years to see his dreams become a reality. As if that were not enough, the construction company will take a year to the project.

“Skeptics even made fun of me, saying the project was doomed from the start,” he said.

Despite the setback over the years, Modiagane is convinced that his business will not be a flop. It will target customers from the neighbouring Mmokolodi, Tloaneng and Gabane village itself.

“Many people commute from Gabane to Gaborone to go to work. They have rented in the village running away from the overcrowded city and sky-rocketing rentals there,” he said.

Situated next to renowned Gabane night club, Gabane Shell Filling Station will also attract customers from among the night crawlers.

Modiagane said he has learnt a lot from his business venture, reminding those who would like to take the plunge into any business “to wait as patience pays.”

A resident of Gabane village, Modiagane pins his hopes on the ordinary customers and the people of his own home village.
Opening at 6am to 10pm every day, Gabane Filling Station brings premium products of Shell V-Power and Shell range of lubricants which include Helix and Rimula.

For the 5th consecutive year Shell lubricants have been rated the best in the world by Kline Company-an American based global rating agency.

Modiagane hopes to extend hours of business and even expand the foot prints of the filling station to other rural areas which other rivals according to him shun away.

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