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Transportation of goods in Botswana to be reserved for 100% citizen owned companies

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Honourable Speaker, I beg to move that in order to create jobs and promote the development of domestic transport industry and companies, this Honourable House resolves that the distribution, courier and transportation of goods in Botswana be reserved for 100% citizen owned companies and that all foreign transport and courier companies be only allowed a single drop off once they arrive in Botswana.

Mr. Speaker, the nurturing, establishment and eventual development of our local industries is of paramount importance if we are to reach the economic growth we so desire for our country. To not only highlight challenges but to also identify opportunities that lie unexplored remains at the fore of my priorities as a member of the Botswana Democratic Party and in my capacity as Member of Parliament representing Kanye North.

In the BDP 2019 elections manifesto, we undertook “to grow the private sector by reviewing legislation and processes that impede entrepreneurship”. His Excellency the President of Botswana Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi said “the next BDP government will lead the country on a path to economic transformation and create jobs that will roll back the scourge of poverty”. That is what this motion is about. If we reject it, we will be exporting jobs and wealth that rightly belongs to Batswana.

Mr. Speaker, Botswana is an import-laden ecosystem, importing fuel, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery, electric equipment, chemicals, rubber products, vehicles and others. The majority of these items, approximately 75% of total imports, are imported from South Africa.

The suppliers of our imported goods, mostly based in South Africa, appoint their own transport magnates to handle the transportation, delivery and distribution of goods to and within Botswana. This brings to the fore a missed opportunity for local transport and logistics companies who could handle domestic distribution of imported goods.

The transport, courier and distribution sector therefore offers ripe opportunity for 100% citizen owned companies to explore and participate in the transport and logistics sector. I am aware that CEDA and other financial institutions have supported and funded a number of transport companies who should access this opportunity forthwith.

Honourable Speaker, it is based on the aforementioned that I bring forth this motion for foreign companies bringing goods into Botswana to select one point of delivery and all further necessary local deliveries be handled by 100% citizen-owned entities. Adopting this will immensely attribute growth and revenue to local businesses and further create opportunity for growth of the sector and create employment for the nation.

Should this motion come to pass, there are existing areas of commerce, like agriculture, that will see increased growth, specialization and diversification. The introduction of reefer-trucks, climate-loggers and air cargo serviced by local businesses will see an increase in agricultural business ventures as well as increased export of our world class local beef and citrus, for instance, undertaken by local farmers as the local logistics and transport businesses grow to match the demand. It is important to note that this Motion will have a domino affect on diversification and overall service amelioration.

I implore this twelfth Parliament to take this motion into consideration partnered with the knowledge that the cabotage suggested here is not unique to Botswana and has been implemented by some SADC member states, France and Canada much to the benefit of their nations. It is often said that the cost allocated to transport forms 10% of the value of the goods. Understanding that Botswana’s import bill is just shy of P70billion – that 10% would be a great business opportunity generator for Batswana; this money would go into the local business landscape, create jobs, aid development, grow our economy and most importantly increase tax revenue for the government.I therefore plead that this Honourable House resolves that the local distribution, courier and transportation of goods in Botswana be reserved for 100% citizen owned companies and that all foreign transport and courier companies be only allowed a single drop off once they arrive in Botswana

I thank you.