Sunday, October 17, 2021

Trade minister removes Brite Star’s “fly-by night” tag

Trade Minister, Vincent Seretse has detailed how Brite Star Aviation of Texas decided to invest in Botswana amid concerns that the company’s credentials are questionable.

Seretse was speaking in Parliament following the Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse’s string of questions surrounding the much anticipated Brite Star Aviation investment at the near-defunct mining town of Selebi-Phikwe.

“I can confirm that due diligence was conducted to ascertain the authenticity of Brite Star Aviation,” reassured the Minister of Investment, Trade and Seretse said.

Seretse added: “There are no commitments by the Government of Botswana through local financiers such as CEDA, BDC and NDB. This project is purely Foreign Direct Investment Venture.”

Ever since the idea of setting up a state- of- art aircraft manufacturing plant in Phikwe questions have been raised of the realness and seriousness of the Company.

Critics drew parallels to the ill-fated Fengyue Glass Manufacturing Project which has since become a comatose project.

Prized to generate the much needed employment and economic activity in Palapye township and surrounding areas especially for the vulnerable youths, the much touted Fengyue Glass Manufacturing Joint venture Project has become a disappointment.

Last year August, Brite Star Aviation Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a motley crew of similar potential Parastatal local financiers such as Selebi-Phikwe Diversification Unit Company(SPEDU),Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana and Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Selebi-Phikwe Town Council and the Ngwato Land Board.

The development sparked public fears that the Botswana Government was yet into another public financial blunder.

“During SPEDU interactions with Brite Star, the Company representatives indicated that if there is interest to acquire shares in the project by local private partners they are willing and amenable to consider the proposal,” clarified Seretse.

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