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Investment moves like a high-speed train

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The problem with the world today is that intelligent people are full of doubts while stupid ones are full of confidence and courage. Quote taken from @Fact on Twitter.com
This could be an answer to numerous political problems that Lesotho has. Intelligent people are hiding under their beds at home and depend on intellectually challenged people to steer the ship.

In any case, let’s talk investment this week. Let’s talk about capital and allow me to narrate a short story on how capital/investment works.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Gautrain for one reason or the other. I just find it so inconvenient and cumbersome to use. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a few disastrous incidences that have left a sour aftertaste and just made me hate the experience in totality.

I remember a day I flew to Johannesburg from Moshoeshoe I International Airport, now derisively called Mazenod International Airport. Yes, the airport has been downgraded to Mazenod International Airport because it has just become another village airport. Airport ea motseng (village airport).

What kind of international airport lacks running water in the toilets, has a leaking roof and rundown departure lounge? I remember a time when we washed our hands from a bucket on arrivals. Ka baskomong. Awe banna! International airport!

So, on my arrival at OR Tambo ‘international airport’, I boarded the Gautrain to Pretoria. So, you can just imagine the walk from international arrivals to the Gautrain Terminal with three heavy bags. I jumped in and the train departed. A sound came from the speakers above and said, “Next station, Rhodes-field Station”.

The train station stopped at Rhodes-field station for about ten seconds from OR Tambo Airport and departed to the next station. A sound came again, “next station, Marlboro Station. Passengers travelling to Pretoria, please disembark and switch trains.” Man, this is the part I hate the most because it means we have to run.

When the train stopped at the Marlboro Station, passengers travelling to Pretoria had to jump out and run to the next train from Sandton to Pretoria. But it means running to the escalators, ascending up and running across, over rail tracks, and descending down the next escalator to catch the next train to Pretoria.

So the race began. The comedian inside me kept on shouting and saying, “ladies first. Ladies in-front”. The ladies jumped the queue and ran as fast as they could. I was running behind them, with three heavy bags.

As we started to descend on the escalator, the nightmare started. The train was on the verge of leaving and there was a young lady in front of me that didn’t seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere.

This young lady had two huge suitcases that had completely blocked my way. I tried to overtake her but the suitcases just made it impossible to pass through. There was a security guard at the bottom of the escalators that kept shouting on top of his voice and said, “shesha bhuti, shesha! Iyahamba.” (Hurry, hurry. The train is about to leave). Poor security guard.

I tried to muscle my way through and overtake the young lady but I realised that if I do so, I’m going to push her down the escalator and cause and even bigger problem.
Maybe even be charged for gender-based-violence (GBV). As I stood there, slowly descending on the escalator, I watched the train doors close and the security guard kept shouting at me, “Shesha Buti!” I just stood there feeling helpless.

There was simply nothing I could do and the train departed. Opportunity missed. Man! I had to wait for the next and last train of the evening. All that was left was to give the young lady a bad look so that she feels guilty. I don’t think it even worked because she looked nonchalant. Not in a hurry to go anywhere.

This is the exact situation that happens almost every time an investment opportunity is presented to Lesotho. Rea tapa-tapa, rea tsila-tsila, hofihlella menyetla e tsamaea. (We become hesitant until the opportunity passes by). Lesotho and Basotho people are never ready to take full advantage of investment opportunities. Investment opportunities come and go and develop countries like Botswana.

I recently saw a beautiful private jet landing in Mazenod. I had never seen a private jet as unique and as beautiful as that one. Wow! I later learnt that it was full of investors from the UAE. Only God knows what the outcome of that trip was. But I can bet my last R20, that all that effort went to waste.

Look, I miss Donald Trump. I really do and I’m not apologetic about it. I’m even hoping that Elon Musk will lift his ban from Twitter so that we get to see his humorous tweets.

What I loved the most about Donald Trump was his boldness and the fact that he was frank. He didn’t mince his words. He called a spade, a spade and not a gardening tool. And told Africans where to get off.

I really loved what he said to the African leaders when he said he doesn’t have time for ‘sh*t-hole countries’. I agree with him 100%. Americans have 24 hours in a day. Africans have 24 hours in a day. Americans have two hands. Africans have two hands. So, why are Africans always begging from the Americans? What is it that Africans are not doing that Americans do so well?

In my honest opinion, I think grants such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact-Two, are an insult to American tax-payers. In fact, grants feed a disease named dependency syndrome.

Why do I say so? In fact, what is a grant? A grant is money derived from the tax-payers money of a nation of hard-working men and women. We need to first understand that. A grant is a sacrifice.

The MCC Compact-Two grant is money from the American tax-payers to a nation of lazy-bums located on the southern tip of Africa. Americans work hard, sometimes juggling two to three jobs per day. They work around the clock, 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week.

America is a nation of hard-working men and women. They make sacrifices in the form of grants for lazy people that are not prepared to work and only want to attend funerals on Saturdays and drink alcohol during working hours.

Most of these so-called ‘poor’ countries are not poor because there’s something wrong with them. They are poor because they are not productive at all. It’s a fact. Why is the GDP of Lesotho the lowest in SADC?

Have you seen a queue of people walking to the bus-top area of Maseru at 16:00 yet government offices close for business at 16:30? At around 18:00, the city turns into a ghost-town. It’s dead.

Now, tell the same people to consider working on Saturdays. Ba ka u roaka hore u tsamae butle. (They’ll tell you where to get off).
So here is my point; Countries such as Lesotho are in a poor state because they miss a lot of investment opportunities. It’s not as if investors never knock on a door labelled Lesotho.

They do so and all the time. However, behind this door labelled Lesotho, is a nation that is not interested to accommodate investment. As things stand, I am in the process of diverting an investment worth 1 Billion Maloti that was meant for a hotel development in Lesotho. I am diverting the investment to Durban (Kwazulu-Natal) in South Africa. But who gives a damn in Lesotho?

In actual fact, a representative from a certain housing corporation showed me the middle figure when I tabled the project. Public servants are just not interested in serving the private sector. So, I’m diverting the investment.

So, look, in my view, Lesotho does not need the M4 billion MCC Compact 2 grant. It can generate M4 billion if it’s serious about business.
Let me ask you a question: Why was Lesotho absent at the recent Africa Investment Forum 2022 that was held at the Sandton Convention centre? Because Lesotho is just fixated on the MCC Compact-two grant. Why bother?

Why is Lesotho not participating in next week’s Africa Mining Indaba 2022? I mean President Masisi from Botswana is one of the guest speakers. Why? The answer is that; Lesotho is not interested in investments but grants.

In closing, there is a lot of investment that bounces in Lesotho because of corrupt and evil public servants. I can name a few if you wish to know them.
There is no one that will knock on a door of people that are simply not interested in developing their country. Investment/capital is volatile and always on the move.

‘Mako Bohloa

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