Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe has expressed concern at worrying implications by the September 2012 Bank of Botswana Financial statistics report that suggests that Batswana are more into borrowing.
When addressing a Letshego annual donations dinner that was held at Cresta Lodge this week, Kedikilwe said the report indicates that the commercial banks loans and advances outstanding by sector stands at P31.8 billion.
As for households, the Vice President said the outstanding loans and advances to households stood at P17.9 billion.
“This indicates that household loans advances are slightly more than half of the national loans and advances by sector, a rate which is extremely high.
The implication is that there is a trend that Batswana are more into borrowing,” he said.
Kedikilwe however praised Letshego for playing a leading role and setting an exemplary path for its peers in the industry by taking initiatives geared at reducing the level of indebtedness in the country.
“These include setting aside a portion of its profit after tax for purposes of giving Batswana financial literacy training through workshops and seminars,” he said.
Kedikilwe reminded the audience that Letshego had also resolved to intensively lobby its peers through the newly established Botswana Micro Lenders Council to strictly adhere to the agreed rules of lending as well as the ethical imperatives of the industry.
“I must note that the establishment of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) and the 2012 Micro Lenders Regulations are a welcome and commendable development, which will ensure that the micro lending industry in the country operates within a regulated environment,” he added.
Letshego CEO Frederick Mmelesi said the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy focuses on music and art development, HIV/AIDS, employee involvement, welfare and poverty alleviation, children, education and sports development.
Eleven non-governmental organisations joyfully received a total of P773 000.00 on the evening.
Childline received P100,000.00, Lifeline P98,000.00, Cancer Association of Botswana P90,000.00, SOS Serowe Village P35,000.00, House of Hope Trust P46,000.00, Lephoi Centre for the Blind P31,000.00, BOSASNet P100,000.00, Otse Community Home Based Care Trust P100,000.00, I Am Special Education Society P35, 600.00Masiela Trust Fund P100,000.00, GamodubuChild Care Trust P32, 000.00, and University of Botswana Finance Society P5,000.
“These donations are among the many donations made by Letshego during the course of the year.
We have as well donated and assisted primary and secondary schools, teachers associations, societies and clubs, and these combined to approximately P200,000.00,” Mmelesi said.