Botswana Stock Exchange quoted group – Sefalana says its 40 percent interest in Grow Mine Africa (Pty) Limited, a company that was awarded the ‘Preferred Bidder’ for the national lottery remains in place. The announcement follows confusion and kick-backs that surrounds the country’s first national lottery license.
On the 4th of June 2020, the Gambling Authority (the Authority) announced Growmine Africa (Pty) Limited, trading as Dineo tsa Pula, as the Preferred Applicant, and Ithuba Solutions (Pty) Limited, trading as Ithuba Botswana, as the Reserve Applicant for the purpose of awarding a licence to operate the first ever Botswana National Lottery for a period of 10 years. A public notice to this e‑ect was issued on the 10th of June 2020. In January 2021, the Gambling Authority (GA) said that it had begun negotiations with Grow mine. Fast forward to July 2021, through a circular read, the Authority however made a public announcement that negotiations with GrowMine were unsuccessful and consequently the status of GrowMine as the preferred applicant had been revoked.
The failure of the talks is said to have resulted from Growmine’s inability to satisfy the GA on a key, non-negotiable requirement as per the request for the applicant (RFA) for the license to operate the National Lottery.
“An essential undertaking was made in their application and presentation to the evaluation committee. As a consequence of this revocation, the board has resolved to invite the reserve applicant to negotiate the license to operate the Botswana National Lottery”, said GA in July 2021.
This week, Sefalana said that a number of matters have been raised with the Minister and the Gambling Authority regarding the Preferred Applicant status being withdrawn from Grow Mine. Further updates will be provided in due course.
Growmine Africa is a consortium of well-known Botswana entrepreneurs, a powerful lot that has been described by other bidders as a climb against a slippery slope, given the company’s entrenched vast network that spans corporate and politics.