News & Events
Honorable Minister of Mineral Resources,
and Security Botswana
Hon. Minister Molale
The Daily News
BELSERVEST NIPS NICHE IN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT MARKET
Professionals in facilities management business will assist government to focus on efficient delivery of core duties without having to worry about taking care of facilities, said Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Pubic Administration, Mr Eric Molale.
Speaking during the launch of Belservest Facilities Management Botswana, Mr Molale said there was a lot of space in government where players in the facilities management business could serve. However, he said the concept of facilities management was fairly new locally, adding that many did not understand it.
Thus he said, “We have this dilemma because not all of us comprehend it. What then happens is that a lot of wastage, and a lot of inefficiencies happen.
For instance we have state of the art hospitals, but patients are not getting the best because facilities are not well managed,” he said.
He emphasised that the fairly new business concept in Botswana would allow government to offer its core service effectively and let experts take care of facilities.
Further, the minister mentioned that Belservest company, a 51 per cent citizen owned company was a joint partnership between Beancoup company and a South African company - Servest Multi Services Group.He emphatically stated that government encouraged such kinds of partnerships to diversify the economy.
“It’s gratifying to see such kinds of value-based joint ventures, where one does not use the other,” he stated.
However, Mr Molale cautioned that there was need for investors to be effectively screened.
“We must be wary of people who come here seeking to invest.
They must be screened, yet at the same time as a government it becomes a challenge because we must ease doing business. To screen an investor is not an easy thing. We have to do all background checks to see where your investment money comes from,” he noted.
Further, he cautioned investors on charging government unbelievably high prices by setting two prices, one for the general public and the other for government.
“There is need to deal with this and do things in a fair and transparent manner,” he advised.
Commending the joint venture, the minister said the South African company had passed the screening test, hence he applauded the Botswana side of the partnership by bringing a value-adding company on facilities management, which was something that the country needed.
On other issues, Mr Molale cautioned companies on flouting procurement processes through corrupt means.
“We have found out that government procurement process has been captured and as the minister responsible I must de-capture. The dancers are the corruptors from the private sector and the corruptee is from the government sector. But the end result is that they spoil the game at the expense of the ordinary people.” Thus he said Belservest should lead by example in that regard.
“Even if you do not get any tender, you should never be tempted to do underhand transactions to get a tender,” he stated.
For his part, the Servest Group chief financial officer, Mr Peter Walsh noted that Servest Group had been doing business in Botswana for the past six years.
The focus, he said was to also uplift local populations through corporate social investment.
Further, he stated that so much had been happening in shifting the political landscape in the region, citing Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.
“I would like to thank Botswana for being the shining light of democracy for quite a number of years.
It’s an exciting time for the region and that optimism will flow through our company and hopefully we can play our part,” he said. Speaking on behalf of Beancoup, Lt Gen. Tebogo Masire said they found a business opportunity in facilities management and patnered with experienced professionals in the industry.
“We got into this business because we realised that we are a young and developing country in terms of facilities. Therefore we see a business opportunity in the country. We have quality services to provide to the people and government.
Government has to run the business of government and leave the rest to us,” he said.
When responding to Minister Molale’s concern on high prices that contractors charge government, he said there was need for government to pay contractors on time to address the issue of fair pricing.
He said prices were hiked because government took too long to pay contractors, leading to accumulation of interest at the banks for contractors who had to service loans.
For his part, Belservest board chairperson, Mr Victor Senye noted that the development added value into Botswana’s business landscape. “We are getting into a very exciting period in Botswana in terms of business opportunity and environment under which business is operating because now and then we will get new business lines emerging.”He said there would be more players who would come into the field bringing competition.Mr Senye noted that Belservest boasted of citizens who were majority shareholders.“They would be involved at operational level not just at shareholding level,” he said.
The company, he said, had employed about 300 Batswana and was already managing campsites for Debswana.
“In terms of skills base we have Batswana. We will play a meaningful role in our clients, our systems, our protocols will ultimately separate us from the rest. We are also able to operate in the remotest of areas,” he said. (BOPA)