‘Small businesses centre of economy’
products in one place and have a guaranteed market.
We have also noted that some Chinese-owned businesses are not adhering to their license terms with their supermarkets also operating as spaza shops. I have met with the Chinese ambassador to Lesotho as part of our intervention initiatives. It must be understood that we are not fighting the Chinese but rather making them aware that they must adhere to their license rules. We also want to work with them. They are actually part of the target market for local producers and we are exploring ways which they can understand this.
LT: What is your ministry’s relationship with other sister ministers like that of Trade and Industry as you cannot achieve all these plans without their buy-in?
Mochoboroane: Fortunately, cabinet has established a sub-committee which, of which Trade and Industry Minister Joshua Setipa and I are members. Cooperatives are a burning issue right now and I am doing everything in my power to ensure we promote them. LT: Your ministry received one of the smallest budgets in this current financial year. Is this going to affect your operations in any way?
Mochoboroane: Not at all. Money is not everything. We could have a lot of money but have no proper plans to spend that money. So our focus right now is to create an en-
abling environment for a bigger chunk of the national budget.
There is a lot of potential in the agribusiness sector, and our work right now is to sensitise Basotho that the tendering business is slowly fading away and we need a plan B. So, for now, there is no monetary pressure.
However, we have submitted a detailed plan to the Ministry of Development Planning seeking more money in the coming financial year as we believe we would have laid a good foundation for investment in this sector.