Twenty years ago when Joshua Galeforolwe was still at the helm of national airline, Air Botswana (AB), the idea of privatisation popped up but to date never materialised. However, The Monitor has learnt that a South African company, Airshare Limited, could finally make this a reality.
“The letter confirms your and our mutual intentions with respect to the potential transaction described herein between Airshare Limited and AB. This document, in and of itself, does not represent an enforceable legal contract,” reads the letter authored by the company's chairperson, Sam Mufamadi.
Airshare seeks to acquire 70% of the assets, tangible and intangible, owned by AB that are used or necessary for the conduct of its business. The company states in the letter that they wish to sign the purchase agreement by the end of August. They thus stated, “Promptly following the execution of this letter of intent, you will allow us to complete the examination of your financial, accounting and business records and the contracts and other legal documents and generally to complete diligence”.
Efforts to get a comment from transport minister, Thulagano Segokgo hit a snag. “I am not in a position to comment on anything happening at AB right now. There is a lot that is happening around the airline, but I will speak at the right time,” was all the minister could say.
Segokgo late last year told Parliament that the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency was reviewing the operating model for AB.
AB recorded losses amounting to P146 million in 2010, which losses increased to P165 million in 2015. The airline then narrowed the losses, recording a loss of P12 million in 2017 and another P45 million in 2018. According to the minister, the airline, despite its operational challenges, has been able to finance its operations and only request project funding from the government, such as for the re-fleeting.