KAZUNGULA: The construction of the $161 million Kazungula Bridge linking Botswana and Zambia is expected to bring business opportunities to Botswana.
Speaking during the grand opening of Sefalana Shopper at Kazungula over the weekend, Sefalana Group managing director Chandra Chauhan said that he was optimistic that the bridge would bring more customers from Zambia.
“The bridge will also attract more customers from Zimbabwe who will buy goods and services from this mall. All our managers are Batswana. Sefalana first opened its first store in 1974. The Botswana Public Officers Fund is the largest shareholder in Sefalana. Other shareholders are Debswana and Motor Vehicle Accident Fund. We recently made profit in excess of P250 million. Batswana hold 93% of our shares. We spent over P10 million to open this store,” Chauhan said.
The assistant minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Machana Shamukuni thanked Sefalana for employing the youth who are mostly affected by unemployment at the store.
“Let me thank Sefalana for its deliberate bias for employing the youth. I am very happy that your suppliers are Batswana. Continue procuring goods from local suppliers. Batswana are also capable of supplying the store with goods. The opening of this store would contribute to the diversification of the economy. Government is currently working hard to eliminate any red tape that impedes enterprises from thriving in order to promote private enterprises,” Shamukuni said.
Shamukuni added that Sefalana is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.
“I encourage Batswana to buy shares in Sefalana for investment purposes,” Shamukuni said.
The deputy Land Board chairperson Nelson Masule thanked the Land Board for allocating land for the construction of the mall that is owned by the late Chobe Member of Parliament Duncan Mlazie.
Masule encouraged people to buy from the shop in order to safeguard 70 jobs that were created as a result of the opening of Sefalana Shopper.
“Let foreigners not surpass you by buying from this shop. I know Zimbabweans and Zambians will buy from this shop in large numbers,” Masule said.
Sefalana Group marketing executive Reginald Klinck said Sefalana Holdings has pledged to create 600 jobs this year.