Location Spotlight: Lesotho Flour Mills

Location Spotlight: Lesotho Flour Mills

Affiliate: Lesotho Flour Mills

Location: Lesotho

Year Opened: 1979

Products/Services offered by Lesotho Flour Mills:

Figure 1: Key Operations

We manufacture:

  1. A couple different types of wheaten flour (Bakery and Domestic)
  2. Different types of animal feeds (mostly poultry and pig)
  3. Many types of maize meal
  4. Packaging of white and brown sugar

A normal day in the office:

Diagram 1: A normal day at the sugar packaging plant.

How many employees/collaborators work at Lesotho Flour Mills?

Currently, we have 230 employees and around 90 temporary employees.

Pictured below is our Back-to-School Day. It is a campaign where all of the staff dress in their school uniforms to mark the school’s first term.

What are the typical daily challenges Lesotho Flour Mills faces?

The various challenges we face include low consumer buying power, due to the increasing rate of unemployment, the political instability and the Government being slow to implement policies. Also, low barriers to entry from competition due to lack of standards and being in an unprotected industry is difficult as well.

What is the latest project or improvement Lesotho Flour Mills went through?

The latest improvement has been an increase in the speed of packaging of our small pack sizes. The small pack sizes happen to be the top sellers in the domestic market. We were able to do this through the installation of a high-speed packer – FAWEMA

Are there any new projects developing in Lesotho Flour Mills soon?

Currently, the company website project is on the last milestone and we will be launching its interactive website soon. Also, we have the 2018/2019 strategic development project. The LeFM management held a strategic planning workshop earlier this year and it is on the final document to be recorded and shared with all the stakeholders for effective implementation. Other projects include the installation of metal detectors for FAWEMA, an insect destroyer for the cake line, an upgrade of the wheat intake scale and cleaner and a replacement of the Otis life in the wheat silo.

What makes Lesotho Flour Mills unique or different to others?

Lesotho is unique because it is a country that is landlocked by the RSA. Lesotho hence has no sea port unlike most affiliates. The uniqueness of this is that all of our raw materials must be collected from the port in Durban and then travel through the RSA into Lesotho.

What was the last social event, gathering or celebration you had at Lesotho Flour Mills?

The last event we had was our International Environmental day. This was marked by cleaning up the streets in the Industrial Area with the neighboring company, Lesotho Brewing Company.

How’s life in Lesotho? Weather, economy, infrastructure, traffic, government, society, etc?

Macro Environment

To begin with, Lesotho depends primarily on textile manufacturing, agriculture, remittances and regional customs revenue. About 75% of the people live in rural areas engaging in animal herding and subsistence agriculture. Yet, it produces less than 20% of the nation’s demand for food. Agriculture is vulnerable to weather and climate variability.

90% of the goods Lesotho consumes are from South Africa. Households heavily depend on remittances from family members working in South Africa – either in mines, on farms or as domestic workers. Mining employment has declined substantially since the 1990s. Lesotho is a member of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), and revenues from SACU accounted for roughly 44% of total government revenue in 2014.

Government employment and consumption accounted for 37% of GDP in 2014, and the government remains Lesotho’s largest employer. While the private sector struggles primarily due to lack of access to credit.

Lesotho’s largest private employer is the textile and garment industry. There are approximately 36,000 Bastho, mainly women, who work in factories producing garments for export to South Africa and the US. According to current forecasts, diamond mining in Lesotho has grown in the recent years and may contribute 8.5% to GDP by 2019.

Outlook

Growth is expected to remain low in 2018/2019 with an estimated 2.7% in 2018 to 2.6% in 2019. Mainly because of weak growth prospects in South Africa, lower Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) revenues and lower global growth prospects.

Lesotho is at a crossroads in need of new growth engines, a more streamlined role for the state and a dynamic private sector to seize opportunities in the Southern African market.

What is special about Lesotho’s location? Touristic spots or interesting things to see and do, etc.

  • The Maletsunyane Falls

Also known as the Lebihan Falls, is one of the highest single water fall in Africa. It is approximately 3 hours from Maseru. Also, a drive up the road to the fall is an attraction on its own.

  • Afriski Resort

A ski resort located about 3050m above sea level. Annual skiing event gaining popularity among international skiing lovers.

  • Katse Dam

The highest dam in Africa.

Interesting things to do:

Furthermore, Lesotho is one of the most peaceful places ever. Overall, the people are friendly and helpful. For example, there is a less likelihood of theft or being attacked, as the crime rate is low, and there is night life for those night owls out there as well. Lesotho has gyms, game courts and a golf course. If you want to retire to tranquil environments you can take retreats into Lesotho’s tourist attractions from Maletsunyane falls, to afro ski resort (Swiss Alps in Lesotho). Adventures include hiking, mountain climbing (Thabana Ntlenyana, highest peak in Southern Africa), and even horseback riding. One can explore the Drakensberg chain of mountains bordering the RSA and it’s amazing flora and fauna with other tourists attractions.

It will be worthy to explore our founding father Moshoeshoe and his journey to greatness and his Thaba Bosiu fortress. This journey includes hiking and camping, so it is not for the faint-hearted.

Also, explore our annual beer festival event at Semonkong (about 120km from Maseru) if you are into having a great time mingling with Basotho and exploring the tantalizing taste of Maluti beer/lager…

Lesotho is a place to be if peace and echoes of nature are part of what you want from life, as it is named the Switzerland of Africa!