Thursday, October 1, 2020

Privatisation kick starts in earnest

The Chief Executive of PEEPA, Joshua Galeforolwe, says his organization has chosen the route of engaging consultants as advisors in the various privatization transactions they will sheppard because it is not worth employing all sorts of experts at PEEPA.

“Otherwise what do you do with in-house experts once a transaction of their specialty is completed?” he asked rhetorically.

He also said some of the deals are so technical that it is always better to engage experts rather than try to slug it through on their own as PEEPA.

Galeforolwe said for the privatisation of BTC (Botswana Telecommunications Corporation), PEEPA would engage the services of an investment bank to assist them in their negotiations on behalf of the government.

This, he said, is in light of the importance of BTC as well as the fact that telecommunications is a highly specialised area.

He said the privatization of BTC would be the biggest privatization transaction to be undertaken in Botswana. Galeforolwe also disclosed that the invitations for strategic partners in BTC had to be re-advertised after it was found that the initial requirements were so strict that they could possibly eliminate good contenders from the race.

He said government is looking for a reputable telecommunications company that is already in business to come and run BTC.

On another note, Galeforolwe said, with regard to the streamlining of parastatals to minimize duplication of mandates, PEEPA had been given a go ahead.

He said there would be no sacred cows, adding that political goodwill has significantly increased.

Already lagging behind schedule, Galeforolwe assures the public that this year there will be a lot of transactions completed at PEEPA.

These include, among others, the BTC, Air Botswana, the government car and housing scheme (GEMVAS).

He said PEEPA had deliberately set itself a tight schedule so as to meet the public demands while also ensuring delivery.

But he conceded that ordinary citizens still have to be engaged by way of public education on what benefits privatisation could bring.

He repeated the mantra that, for Botswana, privatisation is a voluntary public sector reform.
As such government could always walk out of any deal if they were not happy with the terms.

On Public Private Partnerships, the PEEPA CEO said the Ministry of Lands would be one of the guinea pigs.

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