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BMC turns to private players

LOBATSE: Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is luring private investors to inject capital into construction of a new cannery plant to complement the aging one built in the 1960s, Mmegi has established.
By Baboki Kayawe Wed 16 Oct 2013, 17:54 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BMC turns to private players








The state of equipment at the old facility is a concern for compromising standards. 

Speaking during a media tour of the Lobatse plant on Monday, BMC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale, said talks were at preliminary stages with businesspeople to finance this project.

Though Tombale would not go into details, it emerged that a feasibility study was yet to be undertaken to determine project cost, among other things. The CEO would not disclose the identities of the people or entities the BMC was negotiating with either.

"A feasibility study is yet to be (undertaken) and we have not reached a conclusion yet regarding what the financiers are looking for," he said, opting not to say how much stake the investors would have in the parastatal.

Tombale studiously avoided the word 'privatisation,' preferring to characterise the impending deal as "a strategic partnership" on the model of a public private partnership.

However, he revealed that negotiations "taking shape" with a South African company identified only as Fraz for the funding of a cannery unit at the BMC's Maun abattoir.  "We are trying to see if we can get strategic partners to help fund these operations," Tombale said, adding that the BMC's plants, especially the canneries, needed refurbishing. They fall short of the export standards of major markets at present.

The ultimate plan, Tombale said, was to dismiss the notion that African products were good enough for only low value markets.

While government has identified the BMC as one of the country's parastatals fit for running by private players, the thinking is that as a national institution established by an Act of Parliament, its assets cannot be sold without proper consultation by Cabinet and other concerned parties.



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