Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) has registered a private company that is aimed at driving commercial investments.
BALA Chief Executive Officer Ketlhomilwe Moletsane revealed this in an interview with Monitor Business.
“As BALA is not a profit making entity, we have decided to open up a company outside of the association that will be acting as our investment entity, where we will be able to raise funds through it and help councillors in capacity building.” Said Moletsane.
The company, which he regarded as their economic base, is expected to drive the association’s business initiatives including a partnership with a German company, Pitsela Delta Enterprises.
According to Moletsane, they have ventured into a partnership with Pitsela to buy solar products and sell them locally. The products includes solar generators, cell phone chargers, side lamps as well as streets lights.
“After we realised that electricity was a problem last year, we approached Pitsela and proposed to sell these products on their behalf because we needed to raise funds to help the councillors’ efforts in service delivery as we realised many of them are faced with the challenge of lack of funding on their projects,” he said.
Sometime last year, BALA donated some lamps and street lights to schools in Legotlhwane and Mababe villages after realising that the Primary School Leaving (PSLE) students suffer when they have to read at night due to lack of electricity.
Moletsane further noted that even though their clientele is the community at large, they have approached several councils including the Gaborone City Council and the South East District Council about selling them the streetlights.
“Many councils have shown interest, that’s why we will be presenting to them about the importance and benefits of using the solar charged street lights at the Barclays Investment Pitso this week.”
BALA has partnered with Barclays Bank to improve local governments’ operating environment.
About 250 delegates, including councillors and economic planners, are expected to attend the workshop.
Government has been encouraging local authorities to drive economic development, growth and become self-sustainable.