Mining giant to spend P10 million on procurement of local goods
De Beers Holdings Botswana, Resident Director, Neo Moroka says the mining company has deliberately set aside
P10 million to procure goods locally.
Speaking during media interviews at the second 2013 De Beers Vendor’s Day which was held at the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) premises, Moroka said the funds will be used to procure furniture, interior design and art to be utilised by offices housing the De Beers sales function which is expected to migrate from London to Gaborone later this year.
“We are committed to support local businesses. It explains why we are here today.
The purpose of this vendor’s day among others is for us to identify which products are available locally.
We have already identified a 100% citizen owned furniture manufacturing company to supply us with furniture.
We are looking for more local companies to do business with.”
He acknowledged that Debswana has stringent procurement procedures which might hinder some small and micro businesses to do business with them, but said they do it to avoid engaging criminals.
“We want to deal with honest and reliable businesses.
That is why we have stringent procurement procedures.
We don’t want to deal with criminals.
We have been doing business with over 51 local businesses for the past 5 years.
We have also through our capital venture company, Peo, extended funding to local businesses to enhance their capacity,” he said.
Meanwhile De Beers Senior Vice President Operations Midstream, Paul Rowley, said by facilitating the establishment of cutting and polishing activities in Botswana, the government and De Beers are paving a way for additional downstream activities, from diamond jewelry manufacturing through retailing.
“It is hoped that local businesses will use this opportunity.
The migration of De Beers sales functions to Gaborone will see the rise in growth of local medium and small enterprises.
There will be employment opportunities and over 76 of our clients will also create opportunities for local businesses,” Rowley said.
Speaking at the same event, the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Keletso Rakhudu said the 2012 Vendors Day launch success shows De Beers wants to continue to be a part of the business community by further fostering the spirit of working together and encouraging networking amongst the business community.
Rakhudu also noted that to further support local businesses government has signed a number of protocols with neighbouring countries on free trade to benefit local businesses.
Free movement of goods in the region and special preferential markets through Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) are still underutilized by the local companies, the minister noted.
“I therefore, urge you to introspect and see how you can position your companies to take full advantage of these trading opportunities.
I know that some of the imminent challenges your companies are facing include – lack of quality control certification and required international accreditation or certification, adequate working capital,” he said to local entrepreneurs who attended the event.