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Sefalana, Botswana’s retail giant is offering new companies and suppliers an opportunity to list their products in their shops dotted across the country.  The move has been prompted by the lack of access to markets, a challenge that local companies and suppliers continue to face.

Sefalana Non-Foods Executive, Dirk Burger said in line with company policy to support local companies, Sefalana is committed to support local companies and entrepreneurs. Firstly, for a supplier to qualify, they should supply products that are equal to or better than imported products.

In addition, the goods must conform to the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) requirements.“Packaging must not be of inferior standard and labelling should be clear. Products must be bar-coded and expiry dates visible. Prospective suppliers should be in a position to deliver products to all stores countrywide. They should be able to supply countrywide in the quantities that the stores require and will be required to enter into a 90-day sale or return agreement.

“Slow or non-moving stock must me uplifted after a 90-day trial period and supply will be required to adhere to our returns policy,” he said. In addition, suppliers will be required to appoint ‘after sales service providers,’ if they are supplying electrical appliances or appliances that require such service.

A number of documents are needed before suppliers start delivering the goods to Sefalana stores. They include, copy of certificate of incorporation, cancelled cheque, copy of VAT registration certificate or letter. Blank letter head and BOBS certification. Sefalana Merchandise Executive, Doleres Abdul said suppliers should create demand for their product and not just be reliant on the space given to them on shelves within the stores. A fresh vegetables producer, Maatla Sakala, said although he welcomes the development, the requirements are stringent.

“My worry is that some of the requirements limit upcoming producers. We don’t have all the requirements that are needed to supply our produce. My appeal is for them to be flexible and allow us that are starting to list our goods as well,” said Sakala. Sefalana has 18 supermarkets under the retail name ‘Shoppers,’ 25 cash and carry outlets trading under the name ‘Sefalana Cash and Carry,’ three Hyper Stores located in Gaborone, Francistown and Mahalapye trading as ‘Sefalana Hyper Store’ and one cigarette distribution outlet trading as ‘Capital Tobacco.’

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