Govt yet to inject funds into Tokafala

Mong'gae (right) with the 13 Tokafala beneficiaries
Mong'gae (right) with the 13 Tokafala beneficiaries

Government has not injected any money into the Tokafala project due to a delay in signing of the shareholder agreement, programme manager, Victor Mong’gae has revealed.

Contrary to Trade and Industry minister, Vincent Seretse’s claims in Parliament last week that  government had pumped P63 million into the programme and created 585 jobs, Mong’gae said government is yet to fulfill its funding obligation under the agreement.  “Government as a partner in this programme has not contributed anything yet as the signing of the shareholder agreement was delayed, but we expect it to be done by the end of this financial quarter,” he said.

Tokafala is a partnership between the Botswana government, Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana, aimed at promoting economic development and employment creation through Small Macro Medium Enterprises (SMME) support.

The entrepreneurial development programme is already two years into operation with 13 companies having benefited through business development mentorship.  According to the funding agreement between Botswana and Anglo American Services Limited, which Mmegi is in possession of, government was supposed to contribute the sum of U$ 3, 953,134(P37.55 million) comprising its portion of operating costs and capital funding. Anglo, on the other hand, was supposed to contribute a slightly higher amount of U$ 3,957,726.00(P37.60 million).  “Since we started operations, only Anglo American has contributed money. The money basically is for the office operations; running of the office, workshops as well as pay the staff and mentors’ salaries,” he said.

For the schedule of capital contributions first year, government was expected to contribute U$ 450,000 in the first year, U$ 420,000 for the second year and U$ $510,00 for the third year. The document also states that the two parties had agreed and concluded that Tokafala programme be implemented and established on the 19th December 2013, under a three year contract commencing on the 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2016, with the aim to fostering the growth of commercially viable micro, small and medium-sized businesses in and around Gaborone.

The agreement notes that Tokafala had to support up to 230 small enterprises with 80 participants receiving business plan advisory and 30 business-plan participants to receive mentoring support. About 65 enterprises are expected to benefit from this agreement by receiving intensive mentoring support while 85 enterprises will receive light-touch support. About 30 to 70 enterprises will receive funding in the three year period, thus creating about 2 020 jobs in which 185 would be new.

Mong’gae stressed that Tokafala did not provide funding, but rather mentorship to its beneficiaries. He further said the programme currently had 13 companies under its mentorship. “We currently package loan applications on behalf of our participants. They take them to financers, that include Barclays Bank, the Citizen Empowerment Development Agency, Banc ABC, Bank Gaborone and First National Bank, for assessment,” said Mong’gae.

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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