S&S Filling station opens in Francistown

Kabelo Dipholo
OPEN FOR BUSINESS; The new S&S Filing Station

A new filling station and truck facility was officially opened in Francistown’s Somerset West Industrial Site last Thursday.

The S&S Petroleum’s flagship service station is a 100 percent citizen-owned oil company founded by one of the leading experts in the petroleum industry in Botswana, Boitumelo Sekwababe.

Welcoming guests to his new business, Sekwababe revealed the project began in 2020 but faced some challenges like Covid-19, before, together with stakeholders such as Vivo Energy and CEDA, they managed to complete it.

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He further said he was happy that the first of many filling stations to come was opened in Francistown. “Besides that Francistown is close to my home village Bobonong, I’ve always believed it is the place where businesses need to be. The city is right next to Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a transit route wherever you want to go. It was an easy decision to make,” Sekwababe declared, adding he has always wanted to have such a business in the petroleum industry.

“I’ve been in this industry the whole of my career, and I’m passionate about it. The oil industry is one of the businesses where you know how much you can make because prices are regulated,” noted Sekwababe.

He further commended Vivo Energy and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) for the support they gave him to ensure the project is completed. “When I started this I was alone, but along the way I realized that I needed partners,” he said.

Vivo Energy Botswana, Field Based Account Manager, Tshenolo Maruatona said they were excited to start the journey with S&S, as the sole suppliers of fuel and lubricants. “This project adds to our commercial footprint. Our vision is to become Africa’s most respected energy business with particular focus to health, security and the environment,” he said.

Maruatona also said the site in which the new filling station was built was ideal for trucks as it is not in the city centre. “It also provides ablutions, showers and has a restaurant for truckers who may want to stay a night,” he said.
Francistown Mayor, Godisang Radisigo also commended Sekwababe and his S&S team for what he termed a great achievement. Radisigo said it was pleasing to see citizens making such great strides in entrepreneurship and meaningful economic participation.

“The local petroleum industry has for a long time been dominated by multinationals and non-citizens; and we’re pleased to see more and more citizen-owned brands such as S & S Petroleum also breaking into the mainstream,” he said.

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The Mayor said the petroleum industry is a key driver of our economy, vital for key industries such as mining, transport, logistics and manufacturing. “As such, fuel security is an imperative for the country. Our geographical position as a “land-linked “`country presents some challenges as we have to rely on imports and in-land storage facilities and retail sites to ensure that the wheels of our economy keep turning,” he said.

Radisigo further said he was happy that 14 people have found permanent employment at the new filling station, and called on the business community to bring economic opportunities similar to this one. “My aspirations as the Mayor are to grow the size of Francistown’s economy and enhance its image as an attractive place to live, work and do business,” said Radisigo.

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