Automotive plant to open in Lobatse


The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is at an advanced stage of funding the relocation of Malaysian company, Pasdec Automotive Technologies (PAT) from South Africa to Lobatse.

Relocation of the company, which manufactures automotive wiring harnesses, is expected to create about 500 jobs.

BDC is expected to invest P52 million in the project with the relocation anticipated to be complete by June this year.

A delegation of BDC officials led by Ministry of Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse was in Malaysia last week where details of the investment were expected to be finalised.

Speaking at a welcome dinner held to welcome the Botswana delegation, Seretse said the Pasdec project is very much in line with his government’s agenda of economic development, diversification and export promotion.

“The top priority in our current development plan is job creation, and it is pleasing to note that in the very first phase of the project, 500 jobs will be created.

“This will indeed be a life-changing moment for the people of Lobatse,” Seretse was quoted by Malaysian newspaper, Daily Express as saying.

According to the publication, Seretse noted that Botswana is a great destination for business, considering its political and economic stability, absence of exchange controls, rating as the least corrupt country in Africa, as well as having among the lowest tax regimes in the region and a highly educated and productive workforce.

PAT is owned by the Pahang State Development Economic Corporation (Pasdec).Botswana is also expected to benefit from PAT technology transfer as well as boost its export capacity, which is currently dominated by diamonds.

Founded in 1969, PAT is one of South Africa’s leading automotive component manufacturers that helps the design and manufacture of world-class automotive wiring harnesses.

 The company became part of Pasdec Group in 2000 and among its clients are Nissan, Mercedes Benz and Toyota.

BDC, which already owns the Lobatse Clayworks in the town, is currently undertaking a major restructuring exercise aimed at transforming the organisation into a profitable and sustainable development finance institution.

BDC Managing Director Bashi Gaetsaloe recently told the media that on completion of the restructuring, the corporation would immediately be profitable.

He noted that the business remodelling programme, which began in October 2013, is aimed at reducing wastage, preserving cash, preserving the integrity of the balance sheet, and creating a platform for sustainable and viable growth.

According to the MD, priority areas for improvement include financial restructuring, review of legal and governance frameworks, organisational structure review, process redesign, and the introduction of best practice risk management policies and frameworks.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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