The Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI) has reserved about 14 business activites as part of their citizen economic empowerment mandate.
The business opportunity types include campsites, mobile safari, catering services to government and parastatal events, video production, sound and PA systems to government and parastatals, public transport licence, events management and décor, micro lending, Bureau de Change, pawn shops, insurance agents, preschools, immigration consultancy as well as labour brokers.
According to the Permanent Secretary in the trade ministry Peggy Serame, the restrictions would only apply to the new licences noting that the existing ones would continue to operate.
“Reservation of these businesses was premised on the fact that they are easy to operate and do not need technical expertise, high capital investment or special skills and therefore could be operated by citizens,” she said.
Serame said the Ministry reserved business activities in line with the Trade Act and its Regulations, Industrial Development Act and Liquor Act.
Further she said the ministry is working with other stakeholders and continues to monitor implementation of legislation, which may lead to review.
When presenting the 2018-2019 budget speech, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo said government would continue to focus on, amongst other things; ease of doing business and
“Going forward in 2018-2019, government will continue to pursue policies aimed at deregulation of the economy to create space for the private sector to play its role of being the engine of growth in a meaningful way,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government in the past financial year allocated P13 million towards the implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) programmes’ first phase.
In the first phase, the Ministry has prioritised Gaborone’s Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA), Pandamatenga, and Selebi-Phikwe adding that these would include infrastructure development.
At least eight regions have already been identified as potentially viable for SEZs. These include SSKIA and Fairgrounds in Gaborone, as well as Lobatse, Selebi-Phikwe, Pandamatenga, Palapye, Francistown and Tuli Block.
The primary aim of SEZs incentives will be to overcome barriers to trade, investment and the attraction of foreign direct investment.
The SEZ is expected to address issues of restrictive policies, excessive bureaucracy and limited access to serviced land, as well as creating a more competitive or conducive business environment to attract investors.