Major steps have been made towards the privatization of the financially struggling Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).
The first major step involves appointing consultants who are expected to have completed their work by August this year on the privatization of the Commission.
On Friday this week, Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Jimmy Opelo, accompanied by Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatization Agency (PEEPA) CEO, Obakeng Moumakwa informed the media that they engaged Corporate Advisory firm, Minchin and Kelly as consultants for the privatization of BMC.
“Their responsibilities will include carrying out a business, financial and human resource assessment of BMC; valuation of BMC; developing a strategy and transaction plan to guide the privatization; and submitting a comprehensive Project Completion Report at the end of the project,” Moumakwa told reporters.
The consultants have been given a timeframe of three months to have completed their scope of work regarding the BMC privatization.
In privatizing the Commission, Moumakwa said government has taken a decision to retain the Maun abattoir and will engage a strategic partner to operate it through a concession agreement.
As a result, Deloitte Consulting has been engaged to work on the separation of the Maun abattoir from the group.
Only the Lobatse and Francistown abattoirs will be given to private investors.
For his part, Opelo explained that government took a decision to privatize BMC after the realization that the Commission holds a monopoly of the beef industry in Botswana.
“The objective is that we should see the private sector participate in the development of this country, even in the sale of meat and meat processing business. The other objective is that, the current practice is BMC has monopoly of sale of beef, especially in the export market,” said Opelo.
He said this was not by mistake, but it what the law says, adding that the privatization seeks to repeal this law to free up the sale of meat.
The seemingly excited Opelo said repealing the archaic piece of law, everybody who has the capacity to do this business will be able to do it either locally or in the international space.
“But this is a process, it is not an event, and the coming in of the consultants is to further look into the competitive edge and the respective needs in the market that could be realized in the process of the privatization,” explained the PS.