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The Botswana Gazette

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

BOTSWANA PROFILES

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The Botswana Gazette

Batswana take diverse paths to diversifying the economy as a whole.

Gaborone CBD at night Pic File

To promote alternative sources of revenue, government has encouraged entrepreneurs, especially youth to venture into different areas of business in which they can eke out a living. Continued government support and reforms have over time borne good results as individuals continue to get into businesses which lift and sustain their living standards.

AMOGELANG GOPANE

A

t independence Botswana was among the poorest countries in the world, a few years later diamonds were discovered within its borders and its

economy boomed decades later.

three

Subsequently Botswana became the world’s fastest growing economy in Africa. Besides diamonds, this country is also known for

With every district having its own unique features in Botswana, it is no secret that most individuals are taking advantage of that by partnering with others to combine ideas and share costs to come up with innovative business across catering, creative arts, food processing and manufacturing companies.

its beef production and tourism. However, there are other industries such as manufacturing, construction, creative arts, science and technology that contribute vastly to the development of the country and its economy

For instance, people in the Kgalagadi district have taken

advantage of Jwaneng as the last stop before the Trans Kalahari high way; they sell fast food along the road to travellers transiting through the town to and from different areas of the region. In the Chobe district entrepreneurs mostly sell traditional stuff to foreign tourists who normally never leave the country evidence which usually in the form of souvenirs including necklaces, pottery, drawing and things. This is a clear indication that Batswana are taking up the challenge to find different opportunities to make a living and the growing determination and resilience of people in all levels of business is admirable. It is from this determination that major businesses will spring out and contribute to the greater question of diversifying the economy.

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Are vae mama

Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

“Back then in 2009 when I started working, we used to have enough public transport which was an advantage to most of us to make enough profit but over the years around 2012 until this year, 2017, a lot of combies were introduced to this business, thus making us to earn little profit on daily basis or monthly,” said Masoba explaining the stiff competition in the public transport industry. On top of competition, Masoba says they have to deal with bandits who steal from customers who use

“Back then in 2009 when I started working, we used to have enough public transport which was an advantage to most of us to make enough prof1t but over the years around 2012 until this year...” Passenger getting out of the combi at the final destination in Gaborone – Pic Kefilwe Monosi Thati Nicho Kgodungwe

T

ravelling has been made easy over the years through the use of public transport like taxis, combi and buses. People no longer need

to own cars to go anywhere, as most areas in the country are covered by public transport. Kutlwano Masoba, a young man from Digawana, who currently stays in Tlokweng,

drives a combi along the Block 8 route 1 in Gaborone. He says he got in the public transport business to follow in his hard-working father’s footsteps- as he himself was a public transport operator.

public transport, especially while they are waiting for combies in different bus stops along his route to and from Block 8. He says the situation is worse now because the thieves have even developed the audacity to snatch goods off commuters when they

The Botswana Gazette

are inside combies, and items such as phones, laptops and potable electronic devices are often taken forcibly. Another challenge, Masoba said, was the fluctuation in numbers of people who use public transport on a daily basis. Business is usually only good in the morning when people go to work or other places to catch the proverbial fat worm: “In the afternoon its a bit difficult but during the night shift we make better profit since people will be knocking off from their workplaces and other different locations going back to their homes,” he said, adding his colleagues and he “always work well with our customers and we make sure that we maintain peace within us and our customers’’.

Masoba advised those who want to start businesses to never give up because of small challenges and push until they reach their goals. He said it was also important for people in business to be responsible and exemplary. For bookings for transportation in or outside the country, Masoba can be contacted at (+267) 71 567 354 or (+267)

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The Botswana Gazette

Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

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The rise of piracy in public transport

A man hitch hiking a lift from a private car instead of public transport - Pic Kefilwe Monosi Thati Nicho Kgodungwe

P

eople believe in change and the conveniences that come with it; that’s why sports cars and electronics like android phones are always invented to improve performance and speed. Public transport in our country was made easy around 2002 when old model buses were replaced with new buses like Marco-polo. In fact, while old buses still exist, people prefer cars that will help them make a short trip. This need has seen the rise of ‘piracy’ in Botswana roads where old buses operate, with drivers of Corolla, Honda Fit and Run-X grey import cars ferrying desperate commuters who they charge the same fare as legitimate public transport. Although this is illegal, most Batswana seem to prefer the convenience of this option. “Using these cars helps those of us who have to commute to far places to work: these cars are double faster than the buses which take a lot of time on the road,’’ said one public member who hitch hikes in public roads. Old buses are avoided for their propensity for having mechanical problems which leads to them getting stuck in

places like Boatle, Gamodubu, Mmamashia and other places where it becomes difficult to get a ride as almost every car or bus that passes is fully packed. The driver of a famous grey import model, Honda Fit, however says it is a risky business giving people a ride along the country’s highways: “I am always afraid to give my friends or my family a lift because whenever I do, the highway police stops me with the assumption that I am pirating, this has cost me a lot because I once lost a job opportunity after I ran late after being stopped by the police.” One driver who pirates along one of the country’s highways blames unemployment for the risky practice. “Since there is lack of Jobs in Botswana we use piracy as a form of employment, for us to find permits to drive public transport cars it is hard so the only option we find is to do piracy’’. Most Batswana are always unhappy with old model buses which are “governed” at the legal speed of 80km/hr; they say they are slow and are a big inconvenience when one is chasing time and deadlines. They suggested that small cars should be legalised as public transport.

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

The Botswana Gazette

The life of a taxi driver in Gaborone

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A taxi driver in Gaborone taxi rank- Pic file AMOGELANG GOPANE

T

axi drivers have been our saviours at one point or another in our lives: Be it to make it to the funeral at 5 am or that job interview- taxis are always available to speed us off in time, for just P3.90; now that is convenience! Gaborone taxi drivers have an early start to their day and never sleep in some cases as they are on standby for 24 hrs. Some of them arrive at the taxi rank at 5am everyday to transport workers to places outside townsuch as Molepolole, Lobatse, Mochudi and even as far as Kanye and Goodhope. As early as they begin to work they continue to follow their set routes back and forth during the day transporting individuals around town all day long. Adding to their hectic hours, they deal with great traffic congestion during peak morning and afternoon hours. According to one taxi driver who commented anonymously, traffic jam is just the tip of the iceberg as their customers are

also a handful: “I have been in this taxi industry for 5 years now and I have dealt with a share of people with different attitudes. Sometimes they don’t even pay at the end of a trip. This industry is no walk in the park,” he said. Asked to comment on whether taxi drivers are reckless drivers, he said the pressure comes from “transporting as many passengers, as quickly as possible thus making as much profit as possible. This P3.90 puts food on the table for my family every day. It’s never our intention to put the lives of commuters in danger.” One may argue that since taxi drivers do not have a certain set wage rate hence determining their own wages, their ways to hustle and cover the following puts them under pressure to pay the owner daily, to fuel the car and pay for daily meals. However, its undebatable that a balance between these priorities is important to ensure safety for both the public and taxi operators themselves. To cover enough to pay themselves.


The Botswana Gazette

Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

The Botswana Gazette


The Botswana Gazette

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Larger spaces make home feel larger. Home ownership is an investment. Unlike a car and many other purchases that decrease in value, a home is a purchase that appreciates over time. While each local market has its own unique factors, the national median home price goes up each year, even in times of recession. As you pay your mortgage each month, your debt amount goes down while the value of your home continues to rise. This creates the buying and reinvestment power better known as equity.

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

The Botswana Gazette

Seeing the amazing Delta on the cheap

Tourist on a boat cruse in Chobe River – Pic file MODIRI MOGENDE

I

t is one of the world’s most amazing natural expanse. The Okavango Delta has been named as one of UNESCO’s most outstanding global sites, making it the 1000th heritage site in the world. It is a spectacular natural creation where water ways, undisturbed vegetation and the Kgalagadi desert

converge. Its uniqueness is in being the largest inland water way in the world. For the amazing scenery that is the Okavango, it comes as no surprise that some of the world’s wealthiest have made countless trips to Botswana in order to experience its magnificence. The likes of Former U.S President George W Bush, billionaire Oprah

Winfrey and their cohorts of fellow influential counterparts this undisturbed natural wonder. The delta is one of the most exclusive places in the world and is populated with the African big five which have proven to be the main attraction for the financially endowed. The limited lodging facilities in and around the delta has made it an incredibly expensive place, but most rewarding as it gives tourists an opportunity to be one with nature. Some of the reasonably priced luxury camp sites near the delta go for around P10 000 a night, with more exclusive ones costing close to double that. This may be an impediment to many people who while not so rich are dying to see and experience this exceptional habitat for fauna and flora.

It is however possible to find budgetary alternatives. Given the high cost of air transport in Botswana, the best alternative is an overnight bus. If departing from Gaborone, the bus will cost around P200 to make the 1000 km journey.

It will take you to Maun where you will encounter people of different tribes and origins who have coexisted with the delta for generations. In Maun budget accommodation is not plenty but available. Several B&Bs and lodges have popped up of late due to the influx of Batswana visiting the town during national holidays. Furthermore, there are backpacker lodgings that go up to P500 which will allow one a camping experience.

The town’s heritage alone makes for an amazing tourism experience and needs to be explored. They also coexist with the Thamakalane river, its self the very first encounter of how people in that region of the country survive from day to day. An independent boat operator Mabina Mothobe advises that while one can lodge in Maun for affordable rates, they can take a boat or mokoro into the delta. “For an affordable way into the delta, you can

take a boat as a collective of tourists or a mokoro making it cheaper into the Okavango. You will also be able to witness amazing nature within all the way to the delta’s channels which are usually domiciled by rich tourists.” He says a few boats are operated by locals whilst mekoro are usually owned by inhabitants of surrounding villages. “You are likely to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many other amazing animals on your boat ride,” he explained. Walking Safaris are also affordable into the Moremi Game Reserve where one can experience the whole ecosystem up close. Mothobe highlighted that it was important for people to see the delta as it might not always be there. “Nature has a way of changing, the Okavango has remained like this for thousands of years but we do not know when nature will change, so it is important for us to all see and enjoy it whilst it’s still here.”


The Botswana Gazette

Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

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The booming town of Palapye

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Moremi Gorge – Pic file

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n between the city of Gaborone and Francistown lies the town of Palapye in the Central District. The town which has over the years been used as just a stop by those passing through to different destinations is turning into an activity area. The town which used to be celebrated for the delicacies served at the old “Tla Pitseng “ will in the next few years be the place to be. Palapye has experienced a turn around when the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) relocated from Oodi, the university’s arrival in Palapye seems to have inspired an unstoppable boom and massive developments. The university which is located in an expensive and ecologically diverse 2 500-hectare site of sloping land in the Tswapong Hills South east of Palapye has fueled a construction boom. A few malls are already in construction in the area; amongst those, one is open for use although not fully completed. The mall called Diphalana Junction belongs to Benny Thomas and is expected to create at least 856 jobs once fully occupied. He explained that a part of the mall is open for business and the biggest fuel outlet in the country “Shell” has already started operating. Thomas explains that the second one, the Nandos mall, is expected to start its operations beginning of June. Palapye is slowly turning into a town to wake up to; it has a high registered number of hotels and bed and breakfast facilities who are slowly making their services better. Their recreational area and activities are slowly increasing quality. With annual events that attract masses by hosting international artists, the events are expected to attract and invite more investors. Not only is this town known for its strategic position as a stopover, the Botswana Tourism organization (BTO) has over the years made efforts of showing the significance of the town in tourism. The BTO highlights the history of the old buildings found in the area, including a colonial era prison and remains of the London Missionary Church. Palapye is not only a town that is facing an economic growth but is also a keeper of history.

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

The Botswana Gazette

The transforming village of Bangwato

F

amed as one of Botswana’s largest villages, Serowe is a culturally rich place. As well as being the birth place of the country’s founding president Seretse Khama, the peri-urban village has produced a lot of prominent leaders over the years.

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Serowe is recorded as a place of refuge for the Ngwato nation who migrated from Old Palapye in 1902 to the green and fertile region that was surrounded and protected by hills. The village is believed to have fertile lands because of its nearness to Lotsane River. During the days of the Bechuanaland protectorate, it is reported that it was a point of settlement for European missionaries and traders. There are two giant leadwood trees in the area that are still standing near the dirt trail said to have been used by the early travellers. The village has over the years

undergone many developments including the construction of a state of the art Sekgoma Memorial Hospital which was built 6 kilometers (KMs) south of the main town. It was built to replace the old hospital which was of bad state. Serowe is a budding place in which all kinds of business are rising as it continues to seek its way to being a proper town. Serowe is also associated South African writer Bessie Head who later settled there. Head who was considered a controversial writer actually published a book in honour of the village, titled “Serowe, Village of the Rain wind.” Head is believed to have contributed tremendously to the town; her works are on display at museums in the village. The village also houses the historic grave yards of the departed members of the Khama family- traditional rulers of Serowe since time immemorial.

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Location / Address Details: Serowe Dealership Name Details: Dennis Toyota


The Botswana Gazette

Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

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Serowe Marketing Cooperative Society P O BOX 13, SEROWE, BOTSWANA ALONG SEROWE/PALAPYE MAIN ROAD NEXT TO TRAVELERS FUNERAL PALOUR, MOSEKI / TSHWEU WARD TEL: 4630204/4600006/4632496 FAX: 4633868 Email: sermarkcoop@btcmail.co.bw Do you need full package of Agric product (we are best providers of livestock medicine, feeds, and equipments) Are you on rush to the cattle post, or on tour need fuel? We are here for you. (24/7 Shell Filling Station available and also select shop for other basic needs and wants at your convenience)

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Wednesday 21 - 27 June 2017

The Botswana Gazette

P O Box 178 Orapa Mokgobelele Ward, Letlhakane (NEAR BUS RANK) Botswana Contacts: 2974551 Email: malor74@gmail.com Web: malor.jimdo.com

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Tsabong 654 0155

Caution: Borrowing more than you can afford to repay can lead to severe financial difficulties

Our Services Include: Restaurant Boutique Salon Cell Phone Shop Internet Cafe

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