MSMEs Association prioritizes Basotho-owned enterprises



MASERU– To encourage and support the active involvement of Basotho-owned enterprises in all sectors of the country’s economy, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Association organized the Basotho Business Empowerment Forum, hosted on Wednesday this week.

In her discussion, Malitlou Morojele from the MSMEs Association emphasized the importance of Basotho’s involvement in foreign investment businesses. She highlighted the need for Basotho to actively participate in industrial positions specifically designated for them.

“Foreigners are currently dominating the business sector in Lesotho, leaving Basotho behind. The issue lies in the fact that profits made by foreigners are taken out of the country instead of being reinvested locally,” she said, explaining ways to boost the local economy.

During the same forum, Orifitlhetse Masire, a Board Member of Business Botswana, discussed the admiration and appreciation that Basotho have for Botswana’s efforts in indigenizing businesses. Masire emphasized the importance of implementing the Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) and official policies. She proposed the creation of business councils at different levels, such as district and village business councils, to boost the country’s economy.

Additionally, she emphasized the importance of using a consultative approach to represent the interests of private sector workers and employers, with the establishment of monitoring bodies like the National Planning Commission (NPC), Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA). Moholo Lekomola, representing Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL), underlined the importance of stricter tax laws and compliance.

He stresses that being tax compliant entails registering all tax types, maintaining accurate records and documents, filing tax returns, declaring taxable incomes correctly, and making timely payments. Lekomola asserts that being a tax compliant citizen is crucial.

Meanwhile, former mines minister Lebohang Thotanyana provided statistics and analytical insights on the economic status of major projects in Lesotho, such as the infrastructure of the newly constructed national hospital in Maseru. Additionally, he discussed the LHDA project, which will result in a six-month halt in the water sector as part of ongoing development initiatives.

He also highlighted on the Lesotho Highland Development Authority project that will, in continuity of other development plans, see six months of non-operation of the water sector “Realize the value chain of money operating within Lesotho through infrastructure projects wherein the expertise engaged to see the execution of local projects should be sourced from Basotho through Basotho’s businesses. This then allows for supply to also be sourced from Basotho, with the products of such projects used by Basotho, paid for by Basotho that live in Lesotho,” he said.

While speaking on Financial Inclusion through local value circulation, Thotanyane said this chain and channel of money allows for circulation in the country thereby growing the economic muscle of the country. “In essence, it is essential to have laws that engage, favor and prioritize Basotho headed businesses. Maloti must circulate within Lesotho to empower Basotho. Both local and foreign work/tendering must be allocated in ways that cater to the economic value and input of local corporate effort,” he said.

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