Saturday, May 30, 2020

Takers in Air Botswana stake identified

Part of privatisation of the national carrier, Air Botswana is at an advance stage as government has shortlisted two local companies and one international airline company.

This publication can reveal that the South Africa-based Airline Company, CemAir (Pty) Ltd has made it to the short listing to partner with Air Botswana.

Wilderness Safaris has been shortlisted amongst other companies that responded to the invitation of Expression of Interest (EOI). It has also emerged that two other local companies are said to be advised to collaborate and partner after being shortlisted.

Information reaching this publication is that none of the companies that submitted their proposals through EOI did not meet the full requirements.

Also reaching this publication is that the Ministry of Transport and Communication asked Cabinet to approve that Air Botswana be turned into Pty Ltd to enable it to fund its operations from market like other companies.

Air Botswana Board of Directors, management and PEEPA are said not to be part of selection team as Cabinet committee was appointed by Office of the President (OP).

According to selection criteria, government stated that it will consider responsiveness to airline operational challenges and ability to serve the market and also the responsiveness to deployment of adequate resources and services including capable management competencies. Government also wants responsiveness to utilisation and development of existing facilities, infrastructure and human resources.

The purpose of the EOI is to introduce the opportunity and to determine the level of interest as well as potential strategic partnerships that could be established with Air Botswana.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Kabelo Ebineng confirmed that government as shareholder and through Cabinet, is in the process of considering and determining what rehabilitative steps ought to be taken.

“Government is constrained to respond to your inquiry. At this point, in time, the matter is internal to government and a subject of on-going consultations, as should be the case before communicating what will, in due course, be public information,” said Ebineng.

Ebineng further stated that at present, they were in the middle of the process, which includes looking for ways of stabilising the airline.

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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.