Lobatse clay works ressurects

Baitshepi Sekgweng
IN STATE OF DESPAIR: Lobatse Clay works

Lobatse Clay Works(LCW) has been thrown a lifeline with the once mighty brick producer set to reopen later this year.

With owners Botswana Development Corporation(BDC) currently on plans to revive the entity, the first phase is already in execution and it includes the refurbishment of the plant which is underway.

BDC has since allocated P65 million towards capital expenditure and working capital for the business which will ensure longevity and profitability.

The refurbishment forms part of preparations for operational commencement which is anticipated in the later part of 2023.”We’ve been working towards the revival strategy for the business which would see numerous initiatives and activities undertaken in preparation for the recommencement of business operations.

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The corporation continue to asses the business needs in order to inform its actions and whether there is a need to inject funds as activities keep ongoing,” BDC Head of Corporate Affairs & Strategy Boitshwarelo Lebang-Kgetse said in an interview.

Lobatse clay works ressurects
BDC HEAD OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS AND STRATEGY: Boitshwarelo Lebang-Kgetse

Specializing in production of face bricks and pavers, LCW was closed in 2017 following operational constraints. Since then, the plant has been in a dilapidated state hence requires a major facelift in order to get back in shape.

“The company had to find a suitable technical partner for turning around the business. The process took longer than anticipated but it is well on track now. As part of our strategy and in order to maintain commercial viability, the prices of the products will be competitive and commensurate with the market rates,” said Lebang-Kgetse when asked why it took so long for LCW to reopen and of high prices of its products which customers have complained of in the past.

Once operational the business is expected to create an excess of 150 jobs which will be ramped up as operations continue to expand. “The opening will add value through import substitution, through the use of locally sourced raw materials. This is in line with the government aspirations to become self sufficient and promote an export led economy. Further the economic activity for Lobatse will be resuscitated therefore leading to a further trickle down effect for its business ecosystem,” said Lebang-Kgetse.

Before closure in 2017, LCW was a major player in the clay bricks industry, dominating local and regional markets. The entity supplied over 40 percent of the clay face brick market with a good reputation for supplying reliable quality bricks. With re-opening imminent, it is expected the company will be able to reclaim its market share.

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