Home Business PostBank expands to Marakabei

PostBank expands to Marakabei

by Lesotho Times

Bereng Mpaki

THE Lesotho PostBank (LPB) has opened a service point in the Marakabei area in the highlands of Maseru, in anticipation of an economic wave likely to be stimulated by an expected boom of the medical cannabis industry.

Marakabei houses one of the country’s first medical marijuana cultivation facilities, Medigrow Lesotho. The company, which is in the process of harvesting its first produce that is intended for the export market, has a staff complement of 400.

Officially opened last Thursday in the presence of board representative, Matsieng of Chief Seeiso Bereng Seeiso and other dignitaries, the agency is also meant to bring financial services closer to the area which previously did not have one.

Before the arrival of the bank, the villagers in the area had to travel to either Maseru, which is two hours’ drive or Thaba Tseka about an hour drive to access banking facilities.

LPB managing director Molefi Leqhaoe said he was happy that they finally have presence in Marakabei as it took them a long time.

He said they intend to recruit locals to work in the facility with a few others from other districts.

He said before deciding where to take its services, the bank considers the needs of the people in that particular area.

Established by the government in 2004, LPB is the only 100 percent locally owned commercial bank in the country. It was founded to provide banking services to under-banked and unbanked population in both rural and urban areas.

To date LPB has rolled out 15 branches and ATMs in Maseru, TY, Maputsoe, Hlotse, Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, Mafeteng, Roma and Thaba-Tseka.

“We consider what the needs of the people in the area are and we observed that it might be time that this area has a bank, especially now that Medigrow is here,” Mr Leqhaoe said.

He added that the bank would extend financial education to the community in the area to inform their financial management.

“We have invested in this area to ensure that it develops and see to it that usage of the bank’s services and financial management are possible.”

He also encouraged farmers in the area to start banking their money instead of relying on the old practice of stashing money under their mattresses which is susceptible to various hazards.

“I would also like to call on local entrepreneurs from the area to make use of this facility to grow as it will also grow with you. I know that you had to travel to Maseru or Mantšonyane to access financial services, but today this will be a yesterdays’ tale as this facility will offer full banking services.”

He added that the agency also offers a smart automated teller machine (ATM) which also takes cash deposits.

Mr Leqhaoe added that more investments meant to improve the lives of the community are in the pipeline for the Marakabei area.

He also implored the Marakabei business community to register and become sales agents for the bank’s latest product offering called Khetsi.

For his part, chief operating officer of Medigrow, Relebohile Liphoto, indicated that developing the Marakabei by way of attracting investments is one of the goals they have.

“I am happy that we have this facility here because this is one of the things that we promised the community when we first set up our operations here.

“The talk that we would bring a bank here was becoming doubtful but today the bank is here. The presence of the bank here is going to help serve our 400 staffers with full services. This also means that they will spend their salaries in the area to stimulate economic activity.

“It has been a long journey to get here today. We had to work hand in hand with different stakeholders such as the local chief, the community counsel, district administrator, among others.

“This is an example of what can be achieved when different authorities. of the community pull in the same direction. This is a rare occurrence, and I would therefore congratulate the community of Marakabei. I hope you make use of this bank for your benefit,” Mr Liphoto said.


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