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Business Friday May 11, 2018



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‘Wool and Mohair sector could drive economy’ LAWRENCE KEKETSO


esotho’s economic woes are still far from over if the wool and mohair sector remains unrecognized as one of the main arteries of the economy. Small Businesses Development Minister, Chalane Phori, has called on all stakeholders to depoliticize the wool and mohair sector if the country is to meet some of its targets in wealth creation, job creation and sustainable economic growth and development. “I am not an expert but those who have conducted studies have found out that a lot of benefits can be drawn from this neglected sector,” Phori said, though warning a lot of dirt and lack of transparency surrounds the wool and mohair deals. He said studies have shown that at full operation and capacity Lesotho’s wool and mohair sector can create up to 2000 sustainable jobs with more jobs from subsidiary operations as well as the chain

Small Businesses Development Minister Chalane Phori supply. “Right now we have gazetted the regulation of mandatory wool and mohair processing in Lesotho and I can almost certainly say there are 50

jobs assured once operations resume at the Lesotho Wool centre,” he said. The Lesotho Government’s objective With the new regulation the

Lesotho government seeks to start adding value to all wool and mohair production before it hits the international market. Initially all production will be

packaged as raw products for the markets while in the near future processing will be expanded to other technical areas such as washing and readying for the fashion sector and other wool and mohair consuming industries. Lesotho is one of the top five producers of wool and mohair in the world, supplying the bulk of what southern Africa produces for the markets but with very little development locally to help producers compete at full capacity against top world class producers. According to Phori, for more than 44 years that Basotho wool and mohair farmers have been represented by the middleman in their produce trade, the country has lost millions of Maloti that cannot easily be accounted for. “We are here talking of huge sums of money. I have learnt that of the M800 million that Lesotho production makes from the markets, only M300 to M400 is actually accounted for in Lesotho and the rest is lost to South Africa,” he said.

Continues on page 2


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

Business Eye News

Making money make sense LEONARD NYAMBUYA


eekly Capital M a r k e t s Round – Up with Katleho Securities It was another week of mixed performances on African markets headlined by Egypt, which traded in the red and Zimbabwe continuing on the upward trajectory. Commodities were mixed mainly due to geopolitical tensions. Asian markets were sluggish with major indexes declining as investors watched US - China trade talks, US markets rebounded and the Euro zone was flat. South African Markets South African markets ended higher last week. However, gains were capped due to a decline in mining sector stocks. Platinum miner, Northam Platinum soared 10.2%. Gold miner, Gold Fields jumped 6.3%, as reports emerged of a lawsuit settlement, passed in favour of mine workers suffering from occupational lung diseases. Further, Trencor and Choppies Enterprises advanced 10.1% and 10.0%, respectively. In contrast, DisChem Pharmacies plunged 16.8%, as its FY 2018 earnings growth came in below market expectation. ArcelorMittal South Africa slumped 13.9%, as the US rejected South Africa’s appeal for exemptions to high steel and aluminium import tariffs. Retailer, Massmart Holdings plunged 5.0%. Miner, while Glencore slipped 4.4%. The JSE All Share Index advanced 0.3% to close at 57,648.87. Rand The ZAR traded mostly higher against its major peers last week. O n the data front, South Africa’s annual private sector credit advanced more-than-anticipated in March. Additionally, the nation recorded a trade surplus in March. The manufacturing PMI recorded a more-than-expected rise in April. In other news, the nation’s electricity consumption registered a decline on an annual basis in March, while yearly electricity production advanced in March. The M3 money supply rose less than market forecast on a yearly basis in March. Separately, the trade department and labour unions warned that the US’s decision to reject SA’s application for exemption from steel and aluminium tariffs could threaten about 7,500 jobs in the country. Fo r t h e we e k , t h e U S D strengthened 1.4% against the South African Rand to close at R12.4991. The EUR was 0.1% lower at R14.9473 and the GBP was 0.5% weaker at R16.9123 for the week. Zimbabwe The market strengthened further by 0.56% to close at total market capitalisation of $10.25 billion

buoyed by gains in Econet, Innscor and Delta of 33.96%, 27.24% and 10.49%, respectively. Prevailing interest rates have been cited as one of the impediments deterring firms from borrowing to finance working capital requirements. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been mounting pressure on banks to reduce interest rates on loans, to stimulate production across various sectors of the economy. Interest rates, currently capped at 12% p.a., are considered high compared to other regional countries including South Africa, where the central bank cut interest rates to a two-year low of 6.5% this month. The government has conveyed several potential FDI-related policy reforms which include obligating all mining firms to list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (this has been repealed) and only signing deals that are subject to specific timelines with proof of funding. S eve ra l m e m o ra n d a o f understanding (MOU) that were signed with the Chinese government could improve forex inf lows. Furthermore, investment interest has been reflective at the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which recorded improved participation, resulting in 40% improvement in occupancy from last year. Despite renewed interest, the economy remains partially hinged on legislative and political reforms, ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held between 21 July and 21 August 2018. The ZSE index gained 0.59% to close at 342.35 Kenya Ke nya ’s Trea s u ry cu t its outstanding overdraft facility at the Central Bank of Kenya by about 75% as healthy inflows from government securities ease cash flow worries. The government makes use of the facility to plug short-term cash holes, paying interest at the prevailing central Bank Rate currently at (9.5%). The drop in the overdraft facility implies that government cash flows have improved. The Nairobi Stock Exchange dropped 0.07% to close at 179.25. Ghana The Bank of Ghana, in consultation with the Ghana Association of Bankers, reconstituted a Working Group to review the existing Base Rate model and develop a new framework for base rate determination. The ‘Base Rate’ emanating from this model is now the Reference Rate rather than a Minimum Lending Rate for all banks as was the case with the previous model. Ghana reference rate for May is pegged at 16.74%. The Ghana Stock Exchange added 0.19% to close at 3485.83. Nigeria In Nigeria the securities market

regulator is looking forward to corporate debt sales hitting an all time high. The bond bonanza comes as Africa’s biggest oil producer recovers from a 2016 contraction, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), predicting a 2.1% expansion this year. It also marks a turnaround from last year when corporate bond sales tumbled to a four-year low as the government ramped up borrowing to fund its spending plans. That flooded the market, drove up borrowing costs, deterred businesses and curbed demand for riskier debt. The Nigeria Stock Exchange gained 0.04 % to close at 41233.4. Egypt Headline inflation dropped in April to 1.8 from 2% for the year ended March 2018. The drop was mainly due to deceleration in annual food inflation which recorded -2.1% compared to -1.7% in March. The Egypt Stock Exchange lost 0.85% to close at 17523.15. Global Markets USA US stocks notched strong gains on last week despite mixed jobs report, with Apple getting a boost following news that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway had bought 75 million shares in the tech company in the first quarter. The US Dollar strengthened against its key counterparts last week. On the macroeconomic front, the US trade deficit narrowed sharply in March, marking its lowest level since September. Moreover, the Markit services PMI advanced more than market forecast in April. Furthermore, initial jobless claims climbed lessthan-expected in the week ended 28 April 2018 and the nation’s unemployment rate declined to a seventeen-and-a-half-year low in April. However, US non-farm payrolls rose at a less-than-expected pace in April. Also, the ISM manufacturing index dropped more than market forecast in April. While Friday’s US payrolls data came in mixed, underlying strength in the labour market backed expectations of steady rate increases by the Federal Reserve. I n d e e d , m o n e ta ry p o l i cy normalisation in the United States, which has move significantly ahead of other countries, has also been a major dollar – supportive factor. The Euro declined against the USD last week to trade below $1.19 for the first time this year in the wake of weaker than forecasted data on German industrial orders and Euro Zone investor sentiment. Data indicated that Euro zone’s quarterly reading of 1Q 2018 gross domestic product expanded at its slowest pace since the third quarter of 2016. Additionally, consumer price index rose less than market expectations on a yearly basis in April. The GBP fell against the USD, after UK’s Markit manufacturing PMI dropped to a 17-month low level in April. Moreover, the Markit services PMI recorded a less-thananticipated rise in April. The data

showed that the Britain’s economy grew at its slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012. Asia Asian markets rebounded as trade war fears ease. Reports that trade talks between Washington and Beijing will continue next week in Washington, following a round of talks last in Beijing seem to have eased fears of a full blown trade war between US and China giving markets a boost. Commodities Gold Gold prices declined last week, rising U.S. Treasury yields and solid economic data bolstered the dollar in recent weeks, thereby denting demand for Gold, often seen as a safe haven. Spot gold was slightly up on Tuesday, gaining 0.1% to trade at $1314.20 per ounce, after the dollar steadied after marking a fresh 2018 peak. Oil Recent dramatic uptick in crude oil prices has been partly driven by mounting expectations that, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was doomed. On Tuesday President Trump opted to pull out of the accord and reinstate sanctions on Iran. This move will squeeze global supplies as Iran is the third biggest producer of oil in the OPEC cartel, exporting almost one million barrels per day. This type of supply shock could be price supportive. Oil prices retreated from three and –a- half highs and were trading at $70.07 after the decision by President Trump. Oil prices have been rising since the 14 nations in OPEC, as well as other producers including Russia, decided to restrict output last year. In November they agreed to extend those cuts until the end of 2018. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute reported that crude oil inventories rose 3.4 million barrels last week. Additionally, the US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories rose by 6.2 million barrels last week. Silver and copper prices traded in positive territory last week, after the Federal Reserve indicated that future interest rate increases will be gradual. Investors and markets will be following with keen interest the developments, on the US – China trade discussions, as well as the effects of US pulling out from the Iran nuclear deal and restore sanctions. These developments could have widespread global implications ranging from price of oil to the future of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions also the relations between U.S and its key allies including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, all original parties in the 2015 accord. NB: Currently there are securities listed on the Maseru Securities Market (MSM), however there are ongoing discussions which could result in listings soon. Katleho Securities, (Members of Maseru Securities Market). +2 6 6 270 0 2 41 8, 5 32 3 070 0, 68730055 l n ya m b u ya @ k a t l e h o . c o . l s ,, www. Plot Number 12292-972 Mabelebele Street, Katlehong, Maseru, Lesotho

‘Wool and Mohair sector could drive economy’ Continues from page 1 He added that over the years, Basotho farmers have been charged taxes on their trade returns but the agents in the trade have not remitted a single penny to the country. Phori saying these discrepancies have to be followed up to the very end to bring trade justice to Basotho. “What the government of Lesotho wants is to see the sector open and trade deals being transparent. We are aware there are people who have been benefiting personally from these deals and we need to get rid of that and make sure that each and every participating farmer gets their fair benefits. “There has also been a lot of resistance in the introduction and implementation of the new regulations, but we will get to the bottom of this matter,” Phori said, adding that the passion of growing indigenous Basotho businesses is what will drive his ministry to achieve this goal of processing Lesotho’s wool and mohair produce to suit markets demands instead of just sending raw products to the market. Minister Phori encouraged other sectors to support the sector to ensure that the new government policy and regulations are implemented without any hindrances, noting the customs systems, the police and the judiciary will have to work hard to control in the sector. Among others, he also spoke about the need to fight smuggling of wool and mohair products in and out of the country and curbing any kind of in this industry. Lesotho’s wool and mohair sector has recently attracted media attention and a larger national debate following the suspension of export permits by the government owing to a debatable agreement between the farmers and a Chinese investor under a new buying scheme in which a 75 percent stake is owned by local farmers. The arguments were presented to the courts of law for settlement and the government has since sought to gazette new regulations for the smooth operationalization of new value adding application to the export produce. Though the government has accused the main wool and mohair agent BKB company - which has handled Basotho farmers produce for the past over 40 years – of tax evasion and non-compliance to some of the national laws and developmental demands, Phori has said everybody and every stakeholder is invited to openly participate in the new wool and mohair development vision of Lesotho. “This was already started by the past government and we found the ball static and now we are rolling it because it is a good vision for Lesotho and Basotho. It is an indigenous Basotho way of making livelihoods and therefore wealth, so let us all in the spirit of our founder Moshoeshoe 1 fight hard to earn what is rightfully ours,” he concluded.

Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing

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Friday May 11, 2018 3

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Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

Business Eye News

Hiking youth wades into tourism sector ’MASENTLE MAKARA

registering the challenges will be minimised (in terms of obtaining sponsorship) and it will be easier for us to instil the hiking culture in people’s mindsets.


ith its breathtaking views and high altitudes, mountainous Lesotho attracts lots of tourists, which adds value to the kingdom’s economy. But the question is: do Basotho see the beauty the tourists see? Paballo Tlhaole, 24, is wary of the advice in the wise saying: “You do not know what you have until you have lost it”, so she has established a hiking company to instil the love for Lesotho in Basotho and tourists. T h e a dve n t u ro u s yo u n g woman says to her, travelling is a hobby because it connects her with new people. She describes herself as one consumed by wanderlust; an explorer, an adventurer, a free soul who cherishes every moment in life. The last born child in a family of four children wants to live life to the full. Public Eye had a chance to speak to Tlhaole this week. P E : Te l l u s a b o u t y o u r educational background. PT: I am one of Pentecostal Holiness Church of Lesotho ( P H C L ) P r i m a ry S c h o o l ’s pioneers. My pre-school and primary school foundation (standard 1 and 2) was laid there. I then left PHCL for St. James Primary School where I did class 3 to 6 before sitting the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) at Liraoheleng Primary School. After completing my primary education I did Junior Certificate education at Maseru Day High School before leaving to complete C.O.S.C at Abia High School. After completing C.O.S.C, I corresponded with a United Kingdom-based Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) through a local collage called Integrated Business Consultancy (IBC). I enrolled for a diploma i n To u r i s m a n d B u s i n e s s Management after which I went to Limkwokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) where I pursued an Associate Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. PE: Did anything in your childhood contribute to your love for hiking? PT: Oh, I had a joyful childhood, indeed, I cannot complain about it. I used to be troublesome, hyper and enthusiastic for which I used to face the music every single day during school breaks. I would leave the house at dawn and get back when night falls. Where would I have been

during the day? Well, out there in the world exploring and experiencing different tastes of life. I think somehow my childhood contributed to the adventurer that I am today. PE: When did you develop a passion for hiking? PT: My love for hiking commenced in 2012 through the popular Moshoeshoe Walk hosted in March every year. I was 18 years old then and it was my first time to engage in such an adventure. I used to hike once a year during the Moshoeshoe Walk. PE: Why hiking, of all the activities that can generate income? PT: I found love and comfort in hiking; I mean hiking brewed the person I am today. I learnt a lot from it, for instance, I was impatient but through hiking I acquired an art of patience. PE: Brief us on what exactly hiking is. PT: Hiking is magical. It is more than going out in the wilderness to witness the beauty of nature, connecting with it and achieving a healthy lifestyle. I consider hiking as a self-moulding movement principle. It is a spiritual activity that instils the spirit of “Ubuntu”, unconditional love, and the art of trust, to mention a few. PE: When and why did you start a hiking company? PT: In 2018, we decided to unleash our full potential and Spiral Travels (Pty) LTD was born.

The locally registered travel and tourism company specializes in different tour operating activities and hiking is one of our service offerings. We offer a hiking experience especially dedicated to women called “She Hikes”. She Hikes is a hiking initiative that encourages ladies from all walks of life to step out of their comfort zone. The purpose of this hike is to motivate ladies of different sizes and shapes to partake in adventure activities without the help of men in a noncompetitive setting. The package has 2 segments; one activity takes place in April, while the other takes place in October. PE: Are you alone in this business or are you in partnership with someone? PT: In this business I am with Khotsofalang Jobo. Moshoeshoe Walk introduced me to this good friend of mine “Jobo” in 2012. Our first project started in 2014 when we decided to gather other outdoor lovers to create our hiking community “Earth-Lovers Hiking Club” which was founded end of July, 2014. Ever since then the community grew and become a legal well-known institute which now attracts international hikers. PE: Do you think hiking is significant in Lesotho? P T: We a re t h e Mo u n ta i n Kingdom, meaning that we have pride in our mountains, which are our treasures. For that reason, Lesotho is a non-competitive destination for adventure tourism activities such as hiking.

It is a perfect place for one to create his or her mountaineering chronicles. We are blessed with unique, rugged endless hiking trails so what we have to do is to count our blessings, embrace the beauty of our motherland and sell our country to the world. PE: Do Basotho know enough about hiking? PT: According to our culture, hiking is perceived as part of white people’s lifestyle and it is still unusual to see a geared hiker in our communities. PE: What are you doing to educate Basotho about hiking? PT: Usually during our hikes we educate Basotho (more in rural areas) about hiking and its positive impact. For instance, we educated them about sustainable development and we empower them by hiring trail guides as one of our corporate social responsibility acts. PE: What challenges did you encounter before starting the hiking company? PT: A business is a challenge itself, just like life is. It consists of two main episodes that we all experience throughout the course of our lives; which comprise of good days complemented by sad days. O ne of the challenges is financial constraints since it is not easy to find sponsors. Moreover, hiking gear is expensive and we have to travel outside the country to buy appropriate gear. H owe ve r, I t h i n k a f t e r

PE: What is the most exciting part of hiking and what is its importance? PT: The most exciting thing about hiking is that although most people consider it a hobby, I realise that it is more than a hobby but a lifestyle. One of my greatest lessons as a coordinator is that hiking humbled me. I never thought I have leadership skills until I started organising our club’s activities. Remember in a social group, one deals with diverse personality traits from different life journeys and the end of the day you have to team up and reach the set goal. My people’s skills developed and I learnt to be patient with people and I am always awed by how people react to my actions, which is heart-warming indeed. Moreover, I am always touched by the humanity within the hiking community; the support we dedicate to each other during a hike and after. PE: Which is the most interesting season for hiking? PT: The interesting thing about hiking is it’s not seasonal; it has no boundaries. It is based more on the weather and climatic conditions than calendar dates. This means anytime time is teatime for hiking and one just has to have adequate equipment to enjoy hiking all year round. PE: What is your vision about hiking in Lesotho? PT: I would love to see hiking positioned as one of the nation’s major recreational sports and seeing large numbers of hiking tourists flocking to our country. Last but not least, I would like to see Lesotho (concerned stakeholders) taking action to mark and develop our hiking trails so that they can also play a positive role in our country’s balance of payments. PE: When is your next hiking event in 2018? PT: The upcoming Spiral Travels hiking event is Botswana’s Desert Bush Walk Package, which takes place at the end of July. Desert Bush Walk is Botswana’s annual charity walk held in Jwaneng; it is a charity walk supporting the less privileged including orphans and it acts as a fundraising initiative. Therefore, Spiral Travels has links with the event organisers. That is, it works as an intermediary among Basotho supporting the initiative by offering an exclusive package for the event and selling the event tickets.

Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing

Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 5

Business Eye News

Africa investment forum meeting set


OHANNESBURG - The Bank and the Government of Gauteng Province on Tuesday this week signed a memorandum of agreement to host the inaugural edition of the Africa Investment Forum from November 7 to 9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. By 2050, just 32 short years from now, Africa’s growing population will tip the scales at a whopping two billion, with 840 million youth. In the process, the continent will overtake the populations of China and India combined.  Financing Africa’s development needs will require an estimated US$600 to US$700 billion (nearly M10 trillion) per annum. According to the African Development Bank’s African Economic O utlook 2018, o f t h i s , a b o u t US $ 1 3 0 to US $ 170 b i l l i o n a ye a r i n infrastructure will be needed.   To address these challenges, the African Development Bank has launched the Africa Investment Forum, a platform to mobilize private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector to facilitate infrastructure projects with the capacity to transform the continent.

The Premier of Gauteng Province, Africa’s seventh largest economy, David Makhura, endorsed the Forum as a game changer for financing Africa’s infrastructure development at the launch of the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg. “It’s an honour to receive a vote of confidence from one of the most influential, respected and credible institutions of our continent. I want to assure the African Development Bank, and members of the African and global investor community that we are ready to host a highly successful Africa Investment Forum in November. “We have an impeccable track record of hosting continental and global events of the magnitude and significance represented by t h e A f r i ca I nve st m e n t Forum,” Makhura said at the formal launch of the Forum. Makhura referred to the Africa Investment Forum as more than a Davos of Africa, stating that “we as the Gauteng Provincial Government are very pleased to have won the bid to host this biggest and unparalleled investment platform on the African continent. It’s a great platform that will translate Africa’s professed potentials

into real opportunities and progress.” He added: “The November Inaugural Africa Investment Forum fits very well with the investment drive of President Ramaphosa and will be one of the most important platforms for our government and local businesses to pitch for greater levels of investment. “Gauteng-based investment companies have already invested more than $30 billion in different regions of Africa. We have a 15year infrastructure masterplan with a portfolio of bankable projects that require more than $150 billion over 10 years.” While Africa is the next investment frontier, there is an urgent need to bridge the gap between available capital and bankable projects, said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, noting the Africa Investment Forum will help make Africa a place where its young people want to live and thrive in. “The overall investment gap for Africa to achieve overall e c o n o m i c d eve l o p m e n t i s actually much higher and stands at $200 billion to $1.2 trillion a year. Impediments to bankable projects must be resolved to

create win-wins for governments, development finance institutions and other relevant stakeholders. Africa must invest in its own development if it wants others to do so,” he said. “This is the essential reason for the new approach of the Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary platform that will incentivize collaboration for the economic and social development of Africa. This will primarily be about transactions and investment deals for Africa’s economic development and not a talk shop.” Adesina noted that financing Africa’s development is and has always been a collective and cooperative task, requiring broad-based partnerships with the private sector. “We know that the money is there. By 2020, there will be close to $111 trillion assets under management globally that are invested around the world often at very low interest rates. Within Africa, the assets under management of domestic institutional investors will rise to $1.8 trillion by 2020, tripling from $634 billion in 2014. Most of this money isn’t invested in Africa. But Africa should invest

in its own development if it wants others to do so.” Key industry leaders have endorsed the Forum as a unique opportunity for the private sector to invest in transformative projects across key sectors of strategic interest in Africa. Investor Relations and Communication Executive at Harith General Partners, Pule Molebeledi, described the investment guarantee component of the AIF as a game changer. “This will be a major catalyst for projects that are currently stuck in the pipeline,” he said. The African Development Bank is committed to working with other multi-lateral development partners, private equity funds, s ove re i g n wea l t h f u n d s , insurance funds, private sector and stakeholders to ensure that the Africa Investment Forum becomes Africa’s key springboard for African investment and for meeting the continent’s massive infrastructure and development needs. This is the first time ever that several multilateral development banks will come together on a single platform designed to bring a major pipeline of bankable projects to completion.

Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing



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‘Entrepreneurial skills key ‘MASENTLE MAKARA


ASERU Basotho believe failure is only an opportunity to begin again. So Mohau Mosoeunyane’s failures in his first two business ventures were nothing but an eyeopener. He is the author of The Motive . . The Secret of Money and Success, a motivational book that explores the background of most successful business people. It answers three questions which is; why, what, and how - why you should work for money, what to do and how to do it. He also manages a taxi company where he has hired four people in addition to Mohau and the Success Masters, which is a motivation and training company where he has also hired four people. But it has not been plain sailing for Mosoeunyane who said his first efforts at business were stillborn. “It died because I did not know how to run that type of business and had no formal or informal business training.” “I thought people would congratulate me, only to find that in the business world people do not clap hands for you, they only do that after graduating at college.” Mosoeunyane said his general

cafe was destroyed by lack of knowledge in financial management “If you have a shop, you definitely need the machines to keep records. Also, it is not easy to count stock and manage the workers so with the help of the systems like tellers and cameras it makes the business more manageable. From high school to tertiary, I never used to believe that I was a business person.” Mosoeunyane attended high school at Masianokeng and thereafter went to the National university of Lesotho (NUL) to study towards a degree in education. He had to leave when he was in second year and went to join the army but he did not last long as a soldier, as he realised he had made a huge mistake as this was not for him. Then he went on to complete his studies at NUL before leaving for South Africa where he worked as a teacher from 2011 to 2015. He has learned that survival in business is in the hands of an entrepreneur, especially how knowledgeable and equipped he or she is about the business they do. “The education and selfinvestment of an entrepreneur for me constitutes 90 percent survival of his business. The reason why businesses fall is because people do not want to learn about their business. For example, we often go into shows where people are willing

to spend more money to go for training and have a chance to listen to people who made it in business add value to their own business.” Mosoeunyane further noted that most people who are struggling to prosper in business are not willing to spend for their business. He says monthly, he and his team go to South Africa to learn about business and do not hesitate to spend considerable amounts of money on it. So if the business does not perform well, most of that poor performance is an indication that there is a problem with the entrepreneur. “If an entrepreneur has a failing food business, we should bear in mind that there are still others who are in the same food business but still thrive. Maybe people need a new recipe or good customer care because all you need is to keep learning.” Mosounyane is not a qualified psychologist but he competes with other qualified professionals because of his attitude of learning. “Unlike them I did not go to school to study psychology, but I took time to learn about the human mind. So when I speak, I speak from practical knowledge not what I have been taught to reproduce. What differentiates us is that I have knowledge while they have qualifications. They went to

Mohau Mosoeunyane school for several years and study psychology or study it but I did not.” So learning and more reading and attending relevant seminars are key to a businesses’ growth. “What I have learned which perhaps makes me to qualify is that I have studied a lot about the human mind; its strengths and potential. Therefore all my training falls under what we call ‘mind power’. For example, if I make a seminar for entrepreneurs, I will

just talk about the psychology behind business to mentally prepare an entrepreneur about how and what to think about. So if an entrepreneur is well prepared his business will thrive too.” Even when he trains students, he works on their mindset too which is an academic success. Psychology works on how a learner should think so that they can pass at school “Learning will solve some major problems among

Alliance Insurance celebrates silver jubilee ‘MASENTLE MAKARA MASERU - Alliance Insurance this week commemorated its silver jubilee, amidst pomp and fanfare. Alliance Insurance opened its doors in Maseru 25 years ago to become one of only two local insurances companies. Chief Financial Officer Mohapinyane Taole said: “There was an opportunity for a company that would serve the private sector as well as the average Mosotho. All we had was a glimmer of hope and bright ideas. We saw a gap in the market and we were determined to fill it to the best of our ability.” He said little did they know that their dream would have a huge impact on the local business landscape and in lives of Basotho. Liepollo Tsekoa, the group’s head of marketing and corporate communication said Alliance Insurance is a Basotho company, which understands what Basotho need. “When I started working here in 2012, there were only three offices and now we brought services near to Basotho in almost all the 10 districts of Lesotho. As stated, Alliance started with no more than five people, but today we have over 100 employees plus over 200 sales consultants,” Tsekoa told Public Eye in an interview this week. She added they tried hard to reach and accommodate people at

grassroots by presenting affordable services nearer to their homes. “We have built a shopping centre in Mokhotlong which houses FNB, Shoprite, Pep Stores, among others. This means that we assisted in job creation because as we move there and other companies also follow and they hire Mokhotlong residents.” Alliance is in its process of building another shopping centre at Mohale’s Hoek with the aim of bringing services nearer to people and creating jobs. The insurer works very hard to support the sports sector in Lesotho. “Surely every Mosotho will agree with me that our shoulders have broadened well enough to sponsor the local premier league soccer teams and the performance seems to be very positive,” said Tsekoa. She further said that Lesotho is politically unstable and it is only through sports that people can forget about everything and unite since sports play a major role in solving many social problems. “Lesotho attracts international cyclists because of its unique landscape and we have been the main cycling sponsor from the beginning of this sport in Lesotho,” she said. Tsekoa pointed out that cycling attracts tourists while promoting Lesotho as several media houses,

Alliance Insurance Chief Financial Officer Mohapinyane Taole including Supersport, are always in the Mountain Kingdom to cover cycling. Currently Alliance Insurance is sponsoring one cyclist who is going to participate Tokyo Olympics. Tsekoa said they assisted the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Lesotho Special Permits as a way of giving back. “We helped the ministry to locate offices and pay rent plus we gave them the mobile offices so that

the can be able to help Basotho to register. We did this to assist not to get profits.” She said “Another we renovated police stations, by building toilets and fitting ceilings. Again we built a new building at Mapoteng Police station as it had to be started from the stretch,” Tsekoa added. Having come a long way since 1992, Alliance Insurance pride itself in knowing its clients and innovating products that meet their needs.

In 2017, Alliance launched two new products, one being an offering from their short-term products division. Termed Meraka Livestock Cover the product allows farmers to have a cover they desperately need for their livestock, ensuring that they can move from subsistence to commercial farming. The Alliance group’s CSI committee is fully committed to ensuring that the company gives back to the community, she said.

Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing

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to business’ survival’ entrepreneurs; first, it will initially change the mindset and how to manage people and management in general,” he said. He recalled that he recently met with one businessman who told him his problem was that he has build his name more than his business. “So the idea is that you have to make sure that your business survives with or without your presence. So if you learn you will have to know that you have to work on the business not in the business.” He clarified that most people in business today are just owning work, not the business. “In my cab company, you can hardly find me driving a cab the reason being there is someone I trained to manage the business. So some people have a business and work full-time in it leaving little time on learning how to grow it.” He said businesspeople should learn how to hire and fire in business. “In most seminars I attended, we are taught that in business we are advised to be slow to hire but quick to fire. When you think about firing an employee, do it immediately and I certainly agree with that because your business team is very important, especially

when you want to own a business.” Mohau and the Success Masters (MSM) is now celebrating three years and there are lots of achievements to celebrate since its establishment. “When we do training we can hardly more than 100 people at a go and in Lesotho’s market to find such a number without alcohol is not an easy thing. We also write and sell books and the first book sold over 2 500 copies.” MSM has also held workshops for big companies in Lesotho, including Lesotho Funeral Services and Metropolitan. It also held the training for parliamentarians when the 10th parliament of Lesotho was opening and they have hosted workshops for about 90 percent of government ministries. Other than being on radio or in newspapers, MSM has so far seen thousands of people physically attending their different training sessions. MSM is going to hold a free Success Psychology Seminar where Mosounyanes said he is sure hundreds will attend. On 19 May MSM will host a MSM Millionaires’ cocktail Power Session where prominent business people are expected. Popular Maseru socialite Eddie Poone will be the Guest of Honor

while Apostle W. Sekgobela, CEO at Lerumo Group SA will deliver the keynote address. “Most of my sessions are attended by local millionaires and successful business people. Since I started writing the book I have interviewed most successful business people in Lesotho and I have records of people like JP and the founder of Prestige Furnitures attending seminars and talking to people. I put local first because I do not like quoting a millionaire from the US whereas there are lots of successful business people in Lesotho.” Besides, MSM hosts a youth camp twice a year for the past five years where young people pay M1 700 for a four-day camp outside Maseru. In winter this is held at Mophatong oa Morija while in summer it is held at Marakabei Lodge. Asked what he has learned in business, Mosoeunyane says he learns a lot: “I learnt a lot from books and other people and the internet. I also use the youtube channel to upload my own business training sessions. Even when I am driving I always listen to anything inspirational and motivational. I talk a lot and I network with relevant people.” Asked what kills most

of Basotho youth business, Mosoeunyane said: “Youths are very fast. For example, Ntate Eddie has got money, so youths want to be like him immediately. We live in a world of instant things. We want things to happen fast. So we think when we start businesses success will be an instant thing, whereas it takes time.” He said business takes up to three years to build and five years plus make it a sustainably profitable business. “Young people takes four to five years at tertiary but do not want to spend the same years building a business.” Another thing that generally affects most business people, he said, is the behaviour of businessmen and women. “They want to be like employees while they are employers. If you could watch successful business people, just watch the way they dress, it differs from employees. What an employee thinks about from his first salary is to change his clothes or what cologne to wear. But for business people with a first profit they would want to increase their marketing budget instead of taking a girlfriend and friends out. “When I was an employee, you would think the money I had was three times what I make now. I

looked like I had money though I had none. But now is vice versa. I do not look like I have money but my life has changed as compared to when I was an employee,” he said. “Most entrepreneurs who attend training do not even apply make-up because they do not have time for that,” he said. With his cab business, Mosoeunyane said he just wanted to prove a point to the people that they can venture into business without capital. “I just posted on social media that I want cars to start a taxi business. So since people know me, they brought their cars accompanied by M1500 to brand each car plus M500 petrol and I got some drivers still from Facebook and I work harmoniously with everybody involved.” Mosoeunyane believes the government can overcome the joblessness among youth by investing in business. “I cannot remember clearly when, but I conducted a research on how much the government spends on a single student of NUL. But it was closer to or more than M30 000 per learner. You could just image if that money could be used to educate a learner in business and give such a student a bit of capital as an overall bursary for four years. I am sure Lesotho would rapidly change economically instead of spending money on course for which many other students have graduated but are still looking for jobs,” he said.

Ministry of Small Business Development, Co-operatives and Marketing


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Friday May 11, 2018

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Banks indispensable, but beware of charges SHIVESH MAHARAJ


s a young boy living in Durban, I vividly remember my Mom and I waking up extra early on a special Saturday morning, catching the inner-circle bus, dressed in our best, to visit a local bank branch, the closest of which was about 15km from home. I also recall watching her use an ATM for the first time – I was amazed at how far technology had progressed, and wondered: “What next?” Those feelings that banking created in me stand in stark contrast to the thoughts that we as consumers have when w e t h i n k b a n k i n g t o d a y. Being close to the transactional finance world, this discrepancy has always amazed me. I recently saw a reflection of my young self and the sense of awe I held in my young son, who for the first time used a point of sales (POS) terminal to pay for a video game he had saved up for, and the answer to this discrepancy seemed so obvious… The feelings that money gives us as kids are driven by the potential value created in our lives with the “stuff ” money can buy, but as adults these feelings are overcome by the perceived rigmarole, effort and cost that managing one’s money brings, and most of these feeling are attached to banks as the middle man between us and our money.  When you explore these negative connotations and their origins, almost always the first answer you get is: “I pay too much.”  The idea of paying someone to manage your money almost seems absurd when you realise that you almost never get to enjoy your full take-home salary due to bank charges and fees. Grudge purchase Banking is commonly known as a grudge purchase, and most of us can relate to the first time we were asked to open an “adult” bank account, when we first started working.  Someone insisted on a current or cheque account, and the youth account many of us used until then just did not make the cut.  This introduced us to the real world of banking, where money management and budgeting actually cost something. I was livid when I had to pay almost R80 out of my first pay cheque for my bank account, and they did not even ask, they just charged me.  Over the years I have been “upgraded” as my salary grew, and the consultant always gave me some arbitrary reason such as,

“You don’t qualify for the blue/ green/red account, you have to get a gold card now…”, and this always came with higher fees, which they said had to pay for the better “value” you receive. When I started working at a bank, in the transactional space, this stayed with me. I was convinced that this was wrong and that I needed to do something to fix it – and then it hit me. Wading through the intricate processes, interbank agreements, card production schedules and cash handling costs, I realised that there is a lot that goes on under the proverbial tip of this iceberg. A world without banks I slowly realised that the negativity surrounding banks is somewhat unfounded.  Imagine for a moment that banks and financial institutions did not exist, and that all financial transactions had to be conducted personally – how would your world look? On payday, your manager walks past your desk with an envelope and drops it on your table.  You would immediately have to open and count the contents for accuracy, and match this to your payslip to ensure that no mistakes were made.  You would then first pay your taxes and then spend the next few days standing in a number of queues paying your bills.  First clothing stores, then your vehicle and home (hope that’s one line), then move to your insurance company and telecoms providers (all three of them).  Don’t forget your security

company, and the money you send to your parents, as well as your car tracker and pay-TV account. Retirement annuity contributions come next, followed by the body corporate levy.  We would then lastly have to pay school fees and hope that all these organisations have the correct change! Where would I then keep the excess cash, or who would lend me some if I needed it?  How would I manage my security?  And what happens if I needed more cash than I have on me in person in an emergency?  Remember, no banks mean no ATMs or branches.  I am sure that you all would agree that money management would take on a totally different meaning – and what about all those paper cuts from handling those notes! You’re probably shaking your head and wondering what this crazy person is on about, as that’s quite a far-fetched thought seeing where we are at the moment, but I hope that you now have a bit of an appreciation for the service that is banking.  T h e m a ny syste m s t h a t connect the local store and the garage that provides your petrol, to your personal bank balance, and connects the different banks so you can use another bank’s POS terminal or ATM if you cannot find one of your bank’s devices, the ability to swipe your card in Mozambique or Mauritius and have the currency convert real-time to buy an ice cream on the beach, all of which we hardly think about as these service are just expected to be there.

Several million transactions flow through a well-established payments system in South Africa on a daily basis. It is one of the most advanced in the world, even than that of the US, where chip cards are still relatively unheard of. These advances keep our assets safe and allow us to participate in the economy seamlessly. This, however, is not a reason to roll over and just accept all bank charges that are thrown at us.  We need to be constantly vigilant, to ensure that we are paying as little as possible and maximising value for the fees we do pay.  6 WAYS TO SPEND LESS ON BANKING FEES Here are a few tips that I have gathered over the years: 1. Ensure that you are on the correct account type – you shouldn’t just be using a specific account because you earn a certain amount, it should suit you as an individual.  A very relevant example is that all high earners are usually given “bundles” that cost in the region of R500 a month, giving access to a variety of benefits such as airport lounge access and extended travel insurance, while in fact very few customers actually use this feature on a basis that warrants the fee.  Rather choose a cheaper account (usually gold at around R100 incorporates all required features), and contribute the savings toward your travel budget where you could rather pay for the additional services and have lots left over. 

This could amount to annual savings of almost R4 800. 2. Always watch for “hidden” costs that you could manage. A very real example is the home insurance cover that you have signed for when taking out your bond. Make sure that the values that are included in the policy are accurate and valid, and shop around. You are bound to get it cheaper elsewhere if you look hard enough. 3. Consolidating debt into a single account/product saves you paying numerous monthly service charges.  These usually cost R57 a month. Consolidate your debt under your cheapest product, e.g. your overdraft, and work on a plan to reduce the exposure.  The savings from the higher interest and service charges can take years off the repayment period. 4. Shop around. All too often I have heard the argument, “My bank knows me, I did not go anywhere else when looking for my home loan.”  In this day of centralised credit decisioning, tenure means very little.  Most of the information used to determine your interest rate is contained in the likes of credit bureaus, so shop around for the best rate and play banks off against one another.  They all want your business. 5. Use free credit to your advantage. Most banks have 55 days credit free on their credit card.  Pay off the card fully before the cycle ends. Know your credit cycle and make the most of it. 6. Shop around for savings rates. Many banks have specials that run for various periods, depending on their capital needs.  Take advantage of higher rates when offered. Keep an ear to the ground, bookmark web pages of the various banks that contain these rates and visit them at least once a month to ensure that you are getting the best rate.  If you are not, approach your bank to change your rate, which they would most probably do, or move your money. Take your power back and actively manage your finances. Seemingly small changes in the short term, when compounded, can result in massive returns in the longer term. Banks thrive on the inactive consumer; do not be one. • Shivesh Maharaj is head of product and business development at Alexander Forbes. This article is part of our April 2018 Collective Insight supplement, which appeared in the 26 April edition of finweek. - news24

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