The decision by Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) to heed the call by SPEDU to move the Toyota 1000 Desert Race to the ailing town of Selibe Phikwe has helped Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise Businesses (SMMEs) in the area.
In an interview after the race some of the SMMEs said they have benefitted a lot from the event and looking forward to the next. Managing Director of Sayso Holdings Otsile Mbise Magaga who was operating a camp site based at Anne Adams Park said that his camp was operating at full capacity.
Magaga said that it was not easy getting permission from Selibe Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) to operate the camp site in their park but at the end they got to a common understanding.
“BTO and SPEDU came on board and helped with advises and guidance and helped in marketing our products,” he said.
He admitted that it was his first time to run a camp site and to ensure he doesn’t disappoint his clients, they partnered with Mcraj Investments and other tour operators who were experienced in the field.
“We also roped in locals who were given tents as part of Poverty Eradication program and 28 from them, the catering business we gave to another local company Lozidah Investment who did a sterling job” he revealed.
On how many people he managed to employ, Magaga put the number to 22 and is optimistic that with proper preparation and little bit of experience they might employ more than that next year.
He said that they are already preparing for TDR 2020 as some people especially those from outside the country have already booked for next year.
Lozidah Investment which was specializing in catering said that they were nearly overwhelmed by the demand.
Managing Director of Lozidah Investment Moeti Kebalese said that she had to give one of her stall at the stadium to a young lady as she was now running the kitchen at one of the camping site.
“I managed to hire four people to help me and am very happy because my business performed beyond expectation,” she said.
On what are her plans for next year, Kebalese said that she will explore other business opportunities and employ more people as she underrated the desert race.
“I didn’t know it was going to be so big with lots of people,” she said with excitement.