Guest Speaker Speech
"It is with a sense of shared pride that I stand here before you, as we together celebrate the official launch a majority citizen owned company - Belservest FM Botswana (Pty) Ltd. This new kid on the block is already establishing itself as a key player in the area of integrated facilities and camp management, as well as associated services. BelServest FM Botswana has been formed as a partnership between two entities, each of whom has demonstrated track record of excellence in their spheres of business activity, namely: Servest Multi Services Group (Pty) Ltd and the majority partner Beancoup (Pty) Ltd. Servest Multi Services Group is a Botswana based company which has been active in the area of facilities management. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Servest Group – a South African based entity.
Director of Ceremonies, this evening’s gathering is a clear testament to the fact that Botswana is open for business.
I am informed that Belservest FM Botswana currently has fourteen facilities management and two diamond mines camp management sites with contracts in Jwaneng, Orapa, Gaborone, Selibe Phikwe, Lobatse, Francistown and Palapye. I am further informed that altogether the company currently employs 297 people, all but 3 of whom are citizens. It is pleasing to see a citizen owned and controlled company such as Belservest FM Botswana finding opportunities in Botswana for Batswana by promoting local skills development, technology transfer and job creation, as well as the local procurement of goods and services.
As Government we have a responsibility to ensure that our procurement process is transparent, fair and based on merit. I appreciate that on occasion this has been a challenge and a source of negative perceptions. Corruption has found root in the procurement process. The corruptor, who is usually from the Private Sector and the corruptee from Public Sector work in cahoots to defraud us. The Botswana Business Ethics Forum which is a partnership between the University of Botswana and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), holds regular interactive dialogue aimed at sensitising both Public and Private Sectors on ethics in business. The uptake of anti-corruption initiatives from this Forum by civil society and private sector is low. I believe, however, that through our continued dialogue with members of the business community, both bilaterally and through multi-sector frameworks such as the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) we shall bridge any gaps or misunderstandings.
Unfortunately, I notice that there are no women among you, a circumstance you may wish to evolve going forward given the existing pool of dynamic female executive talent in our business community.Ladies and gentlemen, Government continues to play a facilitating role for local businesses. In this respect we appreciate the fact that our goal of achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth and diversification must be driven by the innovative efficiencies of the market place. We thus look to the private sector to generate the jobs and cascading wealth that can move our country forward in attaining our collective vision of realising a high income society that leaves no Motswana behind.
In our continuous endeavor to set the highest of standards in Botswana, we acknowledge that the facilities’ management services is not only the factor in doing so; and that as a local entity we need to commit to the development and sustainability of the local communities from within which we operate.
Director of Ceremonies, it is also pleasing to see large companies such as Servest Group who are willing to partner with our citizen entrepreneurs to create meaningful joint ventures with a shared vision for delivering shareholder value and staff welfare and development, as well as quality customer service. I observe that tonight, the BelServest brand is on display not only through the banners but also through your enthusiastic staff providing excellent service. Director of Ceremonies, Government remains committed to Economic Development Drive (EDD) initiative, which is aimed towards promoting local business development especially those that target import substitution in the supply of both goods and services. The Government, as always, is not only facilitative, but ready to do business with Private Sector. Facilities management, although still unfamiliar in Government, is one such sector where we can do business together, given the huge investment that Government has and continues to invest heavily in facilities such as schools, housing, hospitals, office blocks etc. However, I must hasten to say we can only do business if the charges are fair. More often we see two sets of charges – for Government being exorbitant and for everyone else being reasonable.
It may be noted that, as modern businesses operate in an increasingly competitive landscape, many have become more people centered in their concern for local communities, as well as their staff and shareholders. There is a growing appreciation that companies should have a positive impact in the communities they profit from as well as potential clients they deal with such as Government. I am, therefore, pleased to observe that BelServest FM Botswana has a comprehensive and diverse corporate social responsibility programme that encompasses sports, community projects, and community welfare; as outlined in Belservest Profile in its website . In conclusion, let me thank all of you for having taken time off your busy schedules to attend this launch.Tonight represents yet another milestone in the journey of citizen participation in the mainstream economic activity of this country. It is a journey to a prosperous and productive Botswana that has the capacity to openly compete in the global market place.
It is therefore my singular pleasure and honor to declare BelServest FM Botswana officially launched in the integrated facilities management and camp managed as well as related services arena.
I thank you all."