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GAZETTE REPORTER

In support of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s commitment to empowering local businesses, Gambling Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thuli Johnson this week reiterated his organisation’s commitment to paying service providers within 24 hours.

Johnson’s bold statement comes in the wake of yet another commitment made by Thabo Thamane, CEO of the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) at the award ceremony of the University Challenge recently.

“We must acknowledge the role that small, medium and micro enterprises play in our economy. They are our engines of growth and they have massive potential to create employment. So, as the Gambling Authority we are committed to ensuring citizen economic empowerment by paying our service providers, who are mostly SMMEs, within 24 hours. Our purchase orders will indicate that we will pay within 24 hours provided all the documents are in order,” said Johnson.

The Gambling Authority’s commitment is an acknowledgement of the challenges that SMMEs face, chief among them being lack of access to capital and cashflow problems cause by late payments.

“Delaying payments to SMMEs affects their working capital and ability to continue with daily operations because they have lower cash reserves. If we pay them late, SMMEs will not be able to service other clients or pay salaries. This will negatively impact the national economy,” said Johnson.

The commitment will also benefit the Gambling Authority by fostering long term trusting relationships and good business reputation. It will also improve the Gambling Authority’s cash flow management, improve supplier cashflow and facilitate easier decision making

“The Gambling Authority recently realigned its values and strategy with the National Vision 2036. We are committed to contributing to the socio-economic development of Botswana and we will transform the national economy through safe gaming. We will always uphold the values of integrity, commitment and transparency in everything that we do,” said Johnson.

In the year ended 31 March 2019, the Gambling Authority made purchases worth over P13.6 million, 83 percent of which were procured from majority citizen owned companies. The Gambling Authority was established through the Gambling Act of 2012, which empowers it to regulate and control the operations of gambling establishments in Botswana. With the support of the Gambling Regulations and the Financial Intelligence Act, the Gambling Authority also exists as a supervisory entity that is responsible for ensuring that none of its licensees partakes in any acts of money laundering.

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