BDC to shed 12% of portfolio

Toro lodge
Toro lodge

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is disposing of ownership in two lodges as part of a remodelling exercise that will see the parastatal divesting from 12 percent of its investment portfolio.

The corporation has announced that it is selling  Toro and Khawa lodges to the highest bidder through public auctions.  Toro lodge is located in Kazungula along the Chobe River while Khawa is located in Ghanzi.

The two lodges will be auctioned early next month through Auctioneers Botswana.

As part of the remodelling exercise that the Corporation undertook in 2014, it reviewed its business portfolio  a view to appropriately allocate funding to different priority industries in line with its mandate and strategy.

“BDC will divest from projects and shed some of its assets which do not necessarily fit into the new strategy. The Corporation will also use its current asset base as it deems fit to ensure sustainability of the Corporation and its business going forward.

“BDC will divest from approximately 12% of its existing portfolio. Companies that will be divested from are those that are; not aligned to strategy including pioneering of new sectors. These would include companies that are in mature sectors where the private sector can competently perform. BDC will therefore divest to avoid crowding out the private sector and also create an opportunity of empowering Batswana,” said BDC spokesperson, Boitshwarelo Lebang . BDC investment portfolio ia valued at over P3 bilion  with total or full shareholding in companies  ranging from industrial, property, agriculture and manufacturing. Botswana Hotel Development Company (BHDC) which is 100 percent owned by BDC has instructed Auctioneers Botswana, and APEX properties, a company registered with the Real Estate Institute of Botswana (REIB), to facilitate the sale of the lodges.

 BHDC also owns properties accommodating Cumberland Hotel in Lobatse, Rileys Hotel in Maun and The Grand Palm Hotel in Gaborone, on behalf of the BDC.

The property development and management division of the BDC manages the company.

Toro Lodge is built on a 2.3 hectares land and the facility has 26 chalets, ten of which overlook the Chobe River.  It also boasts of 12 rooms and  an open campsite with 24 ablution blocks.

On the other hand, Khawa Lodge boasts of 18 chalets and an open campsite with three ablution blocks and an outside bar. The BDC acquired the two lodges in 2011 from a local couple in the hospitality industry, Jacob and Kebawetse Masima.

BDC paid an estimated fee of P22 million to buy Toro and P7 million to purchase Khawa. The two lodges are still under lease to the couple.  In 2013, the BDC announced that it was embarking on a remodeling exercise. The implementation of the programme began last April. Its objective is to reduce wastage, preserve cash and create a platform for sustainable and viable growth of the business. Priority areas of improvement included financial restructuring, review of legal and governance framework and organisational structure review process redesign among others.

Under the restructuring exercise, BDC is disposing of certain businesses while also investing into new ventures at the same time. Last it was announced that the Corporation was at an advanced stage of funding the relocation of Malaysian company, Pasdec Automotive Technologies from South Africa to Lobatse.

The relocation of the company, which manufactures automotive and wiring harnesses, is expected to create about 500 jobs. BDC is expected to invest P52 million into the project and the relocation will be completed by June this year.

A delegation of BDC officials, led by Ministry of Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse was in Malaysia last week to finalise details of the investment.

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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