BALA to buy shares on BSE


FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) has declared its plans to buy shares on the domestic bourse in a bid to widen its investment portfolio.

The decision to invest in shares was made at the association’s elective conference held here last week. Mmasepala Group of Companies, which is 100% owned by BALA, has been mandated to find suitable counters which BALA can invest in.

“For now Mmasepala has been given the mandate to buy shares from BTC before the company can consider buying shares from other companies on behalf of BALA.

“We have to generate income for ourselves because in the long run the government will not be able to fund us to run our affairs or take services to the people.

“That is why we are embarking on other investment initiatives such as buying shares,” BALA president Mpho Moruakgomo said yesterday in a follow up interview.

He said that shares have proven to be a viable way of investing, which is why BALA through Mmasepala has decided to invest in shares.

Apart from investing in shares the conference also resolved that local authorities should come up with investment projects in their respective areas and approach commercial banks for funding.

Barclays Bank of Botswana has so far pledged that it will highly consider funding viable investment projects from local authorities across the country.

“ We have local authorities in areas such as Chobe who have vast tourism land that they can use to generate income for them. They can venture into tourism activities and source funding from commercial banks to operate such activities,” Moruakgomo highlighted.

Through their resolutions BALA is responding to Minister of Local Government, Slumber Tsogwane’s last week’s appeal to local authorities that they should highly consider partnerships, on investment projects with the private sector in order to ensure their sustainability.

Tsogwane also said that it is vital for local authorities to widen their investment portfolio to ensure smooth operations as well as augment government funding, which he said is not enough for local authorities to serve the nation. Kgatleng District Council (KDC) certainly the trendsetter in this regard as already, they have unveiled a plan to commercialise their operations by building a 15 MW waste energy power station at the Pilane landfill at a cost of just over a billion Pula.

In a recent interview, Moruakgomo, who is a Kgatleng Councillor, said KDC is currently in negotiations with the Botswana Power Corporation to secure an independent power producing licence as well as a power purchase agreement.

“We are currently in negotiations to get the greenlight to generate 15MW of power using 400 tonnes of waste from the Kgatleng district and surrounding areas,” said Moruakgomo who added that they already have sponsors on board. This project, which is estimated to cost $112 million (P1.07 billion), will be operating at the Pilane landfill where a carbon capture plant will also be erected. 

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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