Established in December 1976, BBS has seen exceptional growth that is best measured by the phenomenal increase in its reserves over the past 30 years. The reserves grew from only P2 100 in March 1977 to just under P42 million in March 2002.
Over the same period, BBS's statutory reserves alone increased from a mere P200 to almost P30 million. The Chairman's Award went to Serve Catering Services. This is a special award from the Chairman of Fairground Holdings to an enterprise that has shown additional efforts either youth, women or disadvantaged people. The chief judge at the Consumer Fair, Alan Rundle, said the award giving ceremony, in which exhibitors were categorised into 20 groups representing various sectors of the economy, is meant to acknowledge exhibitors' professional acumen and customer centrism.
Rundle characterised the event as an avenue for Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) to show the buying population their ability and as a threshold to the international market. Prior to announcing the winners, another judge, Neo Maruapula, explained that the criteria looked at stand appearance, the level of marketing skills displayed, as well as the level of understanding for the importance of participating in the show. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcus Makgato-Malesu, said events such as the Botswana Consumer Fair are not only meant to be a consumer's paradise offering the latest products; they should also raise awareness on the rights of consumers, educate consumers on unfair business practices and highlight the efforts of the government and the private sector to further the interests of consumers. She urged exhibitors to be competitive, strive for customer satisfaction and to uphold ethical business practices because they are important for the sustainability of their businesses.
"It is your responsibilities as businesses to educate the consumer on the kind of transactions that they are entering into in order to avoid default payments, unnecessary repossessions or court cases," Makgato-Malesu said. This year's show marked the Fifth Anniversary of the Botswana Consumer Fair. Over 500 exhibitors and more than 60 000 visitors have come to each edition of the show over the past years.