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Entrepreneurship Network to host business expo



MASERU – THE Entrepreneurship Network (TEN) will hold an expo for local businesses from November 28 to December 2 at the Maseru Mall.

The TEN’s co-founder, Stephen Monyamane, said the purpose of the expo is to help upcoming businesses take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the local business sector to promote sustainability.

He said they plan to invite government ministries and institutions to share their vision for the next five years.

Monyamane said they want to equip the entrepreneurs to gear up for project around infrastructure development.

Through this expo, the Lesotho Millennium Development Agency (LMDA) through their Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact II project and the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) through Phase II project which will soon start, will be invited to reveal business opportunities necessary for such projects.

Over the next five years, Monyamane says they want to know which business opportunities Basotho should focus on based on the new government’s policies and projects that are in the pipeline.

“This will allow entrepreneurs to focus on businesses which will be useful in such projects,” Monyamane says.

He said they want to understand the landscape and challenges that businesses are facing.

After realising that most of the businesses are not formally registered, they invited the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to sponsor their initiative of a boot camp in the past.

The boot camp took two years from 2018.

All the four commercial banks and service providers such as accountants, marketing consultants and lawyers were invited.

“Entrepreneurs get the first one year of free services in respective of their needs,” he says.

He said in the first unit, more than 60 out of 100 entrepreneurs realised the need for these services and they grew well enough to afford paying for their businesses.

However, due to Covid-19, more than half out of 100 entrepreneurs failed to attend the second unit.

“Those service providers which are part of SMEs now have paying clients over the sponsored SMEs,” he said.

Monyamane said when Covid-19 hit, Standard Lesotho Bank and First National Bank introduced a M1 million Covid-19 Relief fund for entrepreneurs who opened bank accounts with them.

About 20 entrepreneurs benefited from the share of M2 million.

Monyamane said since the organisation was established, they have injected over M6 million to over 2 200 entrepreneurs.

He said over 60 percent are still running while 40 percent failed.

“We live in an era where decisions are made through facts and data,” he said.

He said this project, although it won’t generate any tangible benefits, will allow them to easily attract investors in the near future.

Despite the achievements, he said they heavily rely on companies and corporates to sponsor their events.

He said because of the Covid-19-induced difficulties, many projects don’t have enough capacity to finance their activities.

So they have to find creative ways of bringing out value on limited resources.

Monyamane called for companies and government collaborations so that they can reach more people and make a great impact.

“The majority of people who venture into businesses are driven by poverty,” he says.

He said they want to take out the survival mindset to business mind set to build sustainable businesses.

TEN is a non-profit organisation which seeks to build the ecosystem of sustainable businesses which are investor-ready.

Refiloe Mpobole

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MMB workers down tools



MASERU – WORKERS at the Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) downed tools from Monday this week demanding a 20 percent raise on their salaries.

The MMB’s legal officer, ’Mapulumo Mosisili, however insisted that the strike will not affect the company’s daily operations.

Mosisili said they had “already put in place measures to continue with our job smoothly”.

“We are doing our best to ensure that the strike does not affect us,” Mosisili said.

She said the process started through the Wages Board in August where they tried to explain the company’s financial situation to the workers.

“But it is their right to strike,” Mosisili said. She said the 20 percent increment the workers are demanding is not affordable because “everything has become expensive now, like water and electricity”.

The company had promised a 4.6% salary increment but the workers opposed the proposal

She said no company has given the employees a salary rise above the inflation rate due to a lack of finances.

The MMB workers launched their strike by blocking the company’s gates with trucks and singing protest songs.

One of the songs they were signing while holding their placards says Mona ha rea tlela masaoana, which translates to “We are not here for fun”.

Their placards were written Ha re batle 4.6% e nyane, which translates to “We do not want 4.6% increment because it is too

Another was written Re kopa moputso o phelisang which translates to, “We are asking for enough salaries to earn a living”.

One of the workers, Mohafa Malefane, said the prices of basic commodities have increased which requires that workers get enough salaries for them to cope.

“He (the employer) says he will offer only 4.6 percent, we do not want that, it is not enough,” Malefane said.

Malefane said they ended up striking because their employer has clarified that he will not give them the 20 percent they are demanding.

He added that last year they received a four percent salary increment.

“It was still below the inflation rate as it was seven percent then,” he said.

He said the striking departments include brewing, packaging, logistics, and utilities.

“It’s just that some workers in the distribution department have turned their backs on us, they are busy working now,” he said.

The employees’ representative, Fokothi Thite, told thepost that the lowest-earning employee gets M2 000.

“If they add their 4.6 percent it will make a difference of only M80. We will not allow that,” Thite said.

He stated that at least the 20 percent they propose will raise their salary from M2 000 to M2 400.

“The salaries we are paid here are spent on transport to bring us to work and take us back to our homes, and nothing else,” he

He also said they approached the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Reconciliation (DDPR) and their management to fix the matter “but no one listened”.

“We will stand here and sing until 2023.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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Bank renews contract with LETOFE



MASERU -Standard Lesotho Bank has renewed its contract with the Lesotho Tourism Festival (LETOFE) for a further three years up until 2024.

The festival will now be called the Standard Lesotho Bank Letofe Lifestyle Experience and is set to take place on December 17 at the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village.

As the festive season fast approaches, the Standard Lesotho Bank Letofe Lifestyle experience is likely to transform the all-round experience of what a music festival should be like.

“Event promoters are no longer selling music,” Manyathela Kheleli, the marketing manager at the Standard Lesotho Bank, said.

“Rather, they aim to package a total experience that includes other aspects of the good things in life, such as fashion, good food, drinks, music, art and lifestyle,” he said.

This experience shall also see a synergy between Standard Lesotho Bank Letofe Lifestyle, local powerhouses, entrepreneurs, Bonono Merchants and, House of Thethana, who will produce exclusive merchandise as well as showcase their products during the media launch, at pop-up activations and at the official Standard Lesotho Bank Letofe Lifestyle event.

Other entrepreneurs who have been roped in for this experience include Spetzo Pizza and Linford Vodka, who are beneficiaries of the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.

“What we want to achieve with the festival is to evolve and align with the developments in the industry, while still preserving its mandate as a tourism event,” Kheleli said.

The line-up for the music festival consists of both local artistes and international artistes, including Juvy, Leomile, Mookho Moqhali, Don Laka, Ami Faku, Tortured Soul and others.

“Through this festival, we are expressing our token of appreciation to the multitudes of Basotho who continue to support our bank,” Kheleli said.

“This festival could not be possible without the support that you give to our bank.”

Keith Chapatarongo


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Vodacom Foundation hands assistive devices to centre



BUTHA-BUTHE – THE Vodacom Lesotho Foundation (VLF) last Friday injected over M80 000 to help Thuso e Tla Tsoa Kae Centre in Butha-Buthe- the centre that helps children with intellectual disabilities

The Foundation gave out 20 tablets fitted with special software which enables the students with various intellectual conditions to communicate effectively. The devices further allow them to access information digitally.

The equipment was meant for children with autism, cerebral palsy, spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and communication disorder.

The principal of the centre, ’Mamonuku Mofilikoane, said the centre also received special equipment which includes non-verbal student devices.

“It’s a tab which allows a student to tap on a picture, and the sound would come out,” she said.

Mofilikoane said there is also a mathematical tablet which assists disabled students, especially those with autism, with calculations.

There is a switch device which assists non-verbal students to communicate with others and the teachers as well. The school further received M23 000 worth of tablet devices.

Mofilikoane said the tablets have software which allows them to record all the students’ information in case they go missing. With just a tab, a student can be able to communicate with a person they meet.

Mofilikoane said they also have apps in the tablet which allow students to match words according to their understanding.

“We believe the autistic students have their own intelligence which is beyond our understanding,” she said.

She said it has been a long journey of struggle to get to a common understanding with these students because they want to do things the way they understand, which is different from others.

Once enrolled with the centre, students needed training to use the devices. Mofilikoane said the Vodacom Foundation then hosted a workshop where a speech therapist was invited to train the teachers and students.

She said the equipment is the voice of their students and it will be used effectively in the learning process. She said they are now seeking to provide training to guardians so that students could further use the equipment even when they are at home.

Head of Regulatory and External Affairs at Vodacom Lesotho, Tšepo Ntaopane, said their mandate is to provide everyone with good quality education with the technology that they have.

After taking part in several projects involving disabled people, they thought about what they could do with their technology to assist children with different kinds of disability.

They then realised that people living with disabilities are intelligent. Ntaopane said these people need to be understood and given some support so that they can reach their full potential.

He said they noticed that there is a need for assistive equipment devices for children living with disability. He said they further provided free internet to the centre.

“We want them to access the same education like everybody else,” Ntaopane said.

Their mandate is to roll out this programme to other districts so that all the disabled people can access education. The Executive Director of the Lesotho National Federation of the Disabled (LNFOD), Advocate Nkhasi Sefuthi, said Vodacom has served as an example to assist people living with disability.

“This contribution does not only enhance the livelihood of those students but it further makes a contribution in the education sector,” Adv Sefuthi said.

He said children living with disability are the most neglected groups in society. He said this assistive devices will help them to live a normal life like others. The donated equipment, Adv Sefuthi said, will help reduce the stigma in the community for children living with disability.

He said what Vodacom has done is an investment to the future of these students. Speaking on behalf of the Managing Director of Vodacom Lesotho, Liphethiso Mahanetsa, said their purpose is to connect to the near future. Mahanetsa said they have aligned with their purpose to change the life of these students.

She said this is the responsibility of every company to assist vulnerable people. ’Makutloano ’Nehi, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education, said their mandate is to push for inclusive education. She said the devices will eliminate barriers to education.

Refiloe Mpobole


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