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Zimbabweans dominate work permit holders

Statistics Botswana has revealed that the majority of work permit holders during the third quarter of 2017 were from Zimbabwe at 2,398 persons (47.4 percent), followed by South Africa at 807 persons (15.5 percent,)  and Indian Sub-Continent with 440 persons (9.1 percent).

According to a report released at the end of December the total number of work permit holders that were valid as of end of September 2017 was 5,242. Of these 4,417 (84.3 percent) were employees while 825 (15.7 percent) were self – employed. Overall, male work permit holders at 78.9 percent were higher than their female counterparts (21.1 %).

“Employee work permit holders consist of those holding new work permits and those whose work permits have been renewed. 3,754 permit holders were new employee work permits, while 663 held renewed ones. Males outnumbered females for both new and renewed work permit holders,” reads the Statistics Botswana report signed off by Statistician General, Annah Majelantle.

In the new work permit holder’s category, males accounted for 66.4 percent of total employee work permit holders compared to 17.8 percent for females. For the renewed work permit holders, male employees work permit holders accounted for 11.4 percent of the total employee work permit holders compared with 4.3 percent for females.

The report further indicates that total work permits holders were increasing in the first quarter of 2017 but started to decline in the second quarter of 2017 and increased again in the third quarter of 2017. Between December 2016 and March 2017, total work permits holders increased by 605 persons, from 5,293 in December 2016 to 5,898 in March 2017, an increase of 11.4 percent. Between June 2017 and September 2017, total work permits holders decreased by 513 persons, from 5,755 in June 2017 to 5,242 in September 2017, a decrease of 8.9 percent. Comparing December 2016 with September 2017 total work permits holders decreased by 51 persons, a decrease of 1.0 percent.

WORK PERMIT HOLDERS BY AGE, INDUSTRY, QUALIFICATION

The same Statistics Botswana quarterly report indicates that age distribution shows that a large number of work permit holders were in the 40 – 44 years age group, at 19.2 percent of total work permit holders, followed by the 35-39 and 30-34 years age groups at 18.6 and 16.8 percent respectively.

For the self-employed category, age group 40 – 44 had the largest share with 166 permit holders (20.1 percent) followed by the 45 – 49 age group with 147 permit holders (17.8 percent). For employee work permit holders, the 35-39 age group stood at 846 permit holders (19.2 percent) followed by age group 40-44 with 843 work permit holders (19.1 percent). Work permit holders of youth, aged 15-35 accounted for 1519, which is 29 percent of the total work permit holders.

The reports notes that overall, Agriculture had the largest work permit holders at 29.3 percent, followed by Construction with 14.6 percent. Manufacturing was third with 9.2 percent work permit holders. For the employee work permit holders, Agriculture Industry accounted for 33.2 percent of employee work permit holders, followed by Construction with 15.7 percent. For the self-employed work permit holders’ category, Wholesale & Retail Trade was above other industries, recording 31.9 percent of work permit holders, followed by Real Estate and Manufacturing

Meanwhile the largest proportion is found in the elementary occupations with 1358 persons (30.7 percent), followed by the Professionals with 955 persons (21.6 percent) and Managers/Administrators at 791 persons (17.9 percent). In terms of training, among the employee work permit holders, 43.8 percent (1,933) had No Training or had not stated if they have any training. Degree holders accounted for 27.6 percent (1217) of work permit holders with known training status. Diploma holders accounted for, 17.1 percent (754), while Certificate holders contributed 11.6 percent (513) of employee work permit holders.

Furthermore, Engineering & Allied programs and Craft programs topped the work permit holders with known training status, accounting for 14.0 percent and 8.4 percent respectively. These were followed by work permit holders with Commercial, Clerical and Business & Public Administration programs training at 7.5 percent.

“Work permits represent an authorization issued by the Department of Labour and Social Security allowing nationals of other countries to work legally in the country. Data on work permits are collected by reasons for issuing such permits. The main reasons for issuing such permits are employment, education, family, and other reasons. The analysis of permit in this brief is confined only to work permits, drawn from National administrative registers and databases,” explained Majelantle.

The Department of Labour and Social Security issues work-permits, and copies of approved work-permit applications are forwarded to Statistics Botswana to be analysed. Although all work permit forms received by Statistics Botswana for a specific quarter are processed and entered into the data base, others arrive after the publication of the stats brief, and are captured for analysis for the subsequent publication, she said.

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Business

New study reveals why youth entrepreneurs are failing

21st July 2022
Youth

The recent study on youth entrepreneurship in Botswana has identified difficult access to funding, land, machinery, lack of entrepreneurial mindset and proper training as serious challenges that continue to hamper youth entrepreneurship development in this country.

The study conducted by Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) in collaboration with University of Botswana has confirmed that despite the government and private sector multi-billion pula entrepreneurship development initiatives, many young people in Botswana continue to fail to grow their businesses into sustainable and successful companies that can help reduce unemployment.

University of Botswana researchers Gaofetege Ganamotse and Rudolph Boy who compiled findings in the 2022 study report for Botswana stated that as part of the study interviews were conducted with successful youth entrepreneurs to understand their critical success factors.

According to the researchers other participants were community leaders, business mentors, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, financial institutions, higher education institutions, non-governmental institutions, policymakers, private organizations, and support structures such as legal and technical experts and accountants who were interviewed to understand how they facilitate successful youth entrepreneurship.

The researchers said they found that although Botswana government is perceived as the most supportive to businesses when compared to other governments in sub-Saharan Africa, youth entrepreneurs still face challenges when accessing government funding. “Several finance-related challenges were identified by youth entrepreneurs. Some respondents lamented the lack of access to start-up finance, whereas others mentioned lack of access to infrastructure.”

The researchers stated that in Botswana entrepreneurship is not yet perceived as a field or career of choice by many youth “Participants in the study emphasized that the many youth are more of necessity entrepreneurs, seeing business venturing as a “fall back. Other facilitators mentioned that some youth do not display creativity, mind-blowing innovative solutions, and business management skills. Some youth entrepreneurs like to take shortcuts like selling sweets or muffins.”

According to the researchers, some of the youth do not display perseverance when they are faced with adversity in business. “Young people lack of an entrepreneurial mindset is a common challenge among youth in business. Some have a mindset focused on free services, handouts, and rapid gains. They want overnight success. As such, they give up easily when faced with challenges. On the other hand, some participants argue that they may opt for quick wins because they do not have access to any land, machinery, offices, and vehicles.”

The researchers stated that most youth involved in business ventures do not have the necessary training or skills to maintain a business. “Poor financial management has also been cited as one of the challenges for youth entrepreneurs, such as using profit for personal reasons rather than investing in the business. Also some are not being able to separate their livelihood from their businesses.

Lastly, youth entrepreneurs reported a lack of experience as one of the challenges. For example, the experience of running a business with projections, sticking to the projections, having an accounting system, maintaining a clean and clear billing system, and sound administration system.”

According to the researchers, the participants in the study emphasized that there is fragmentation within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, whereby there is replication of business activities without any differentiation. “There is no integration of the ecosystem players. As such, they end up with duplicate programs targeting the same objectives. The financial sector recommended that there is a need for an intermediary body that will bring all the ecosystem actors together and serve as a “one-stop shop” for entrepreneurs and build mentorship programs that accommodate the business lifecycle from inception to growth.”

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Business

BHC yearend financial results impressive

18th July 2022
BHC

Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) is said to have recorded an operating surplus of P61 Million, an improvement compared to the previous year. The housing, office and other building needs giant met with stakeholders recently to share how the business has been.

The P61 million is a significant increase against the P6 million operating loss realized in the prior year. Profit before income tax also increased significantly from P2 million in the prior year to P72 million which resulted in an overall increase in surplus after tax from P1 million prior year to P64 million for the year under review.

Chief of Finance Officer, Diratsagae Kgamanyane disclosed; “This growth in surplus was driven mainly by rental revenue that increased by 15% from P209 million to P240 million and reduction in expenditure from P272 million to P214 million on the back of cost containment.”
He further stated that sales of high margin investment properties also contributed significantly to the growth in surplus as well as impairment reversals on receivables amounting to P25 million.

It is said that the Corporation recorded a total revenue of P702 million, an 8% decrease when compared to the P760 million recorded in the prior year. “Sales revenue which is one of the major revenue streams returned impressive margins, contributing to the overall growth in the gross margin,” added Kgamanyane.

He further stated professional fees revenue line declined significantly by 64% to P5 million from P14 million in the prior year which attributed to suspension of planned projects by their clients due to Covid-19 pandemic. “Facilities Management revenue decreased by P 24 million from P69 million recorded in prior year to P45 million due to reduction in projects,” Kgamanyane said.

The Corporation’s strength is on its investment properties portfolio that stood at P1.4 billion at the end of the reporting period. “The Corporation continues its strategy to diversify revenue streams despite both facilities management income and professional fees being challenged by the prevailing economic conditions that have seen its major clients curtailing spending,” added the CEO.

On the one hand, the Corporation’s Strategic Performance which intended to build 12 300 houses by 2023 has so far managed to build 4 830 houses under their SHHA funding scheme, 1 240 houses for commercial or external use which includes use by government and 1 970 houses to rent to individuals.

BHC Acting CEO Pascaline Sefawe noted that; BHC’s planned projects are said to include building 336 flat units in Gaborone Block 7 at approximately P224 million, 100 units in Maun at approximately P78 million, 13 units in Phakalane at approximately P26 million, 212 units in Kazungula at approximately P160 million, 96 units at approximately P42 million in Francistown and 84 units at approximately P61 million in Letlhakane. Emphasing; “People tend to accuse us of only building houses in Gaborone, so here we are, including other areas in our planned projects.”

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Business

Commercial banks to cash big on high interest rates on loans

18th July 2022
Commercial-banks

Researchers from some government owned regulatory institutions in the financial sector have projected that the banking sector’s profitability could increase, following Bank of Botswana Monetary Policy Committee recent decision to increase monetary policy rate.

In its bid to manage inflation, Bank of Botswana Monetary Policy Committee last month increased monetary policy rate by 0.50 percent from 1.65 percent to 2.15 percent, a development which resulted with commercial banking sector increasing interest rate in lending to household and companies. As a result of BoB adjustment of Monetary Policy Rate, from 1.65 percent to 2.15 percent commercial banks increased prime lending rate from 5.76 percent to 6.26 percent.

Researchers from Bank of Botswana, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, the Financial Intelligence Agency and the Botswana Stock Exchange indicated that due to prospects of high inflation during the second half of 2022, there is a possibility that the Monetary Policy Committee could further increase monetary policy rate in the next meeting in August 25 2022.

Inflation rose from 9.6 percent in April 2022 to 11.9 percent in May 2022, remaining above the Bank of Botswana medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent. According to the researchers inflation could increase further and remain high due to factors that include: the potential increase in international commodity prices beyond current forecasts, logistical constraints due to lags in production, the economic and price effects of the ongoing Russia- Ukraine conflict, uncertain COVID-19 profile, domestic risk factors relating to possible regular annual administered price adjustments, short-term unintended consequences of import restrictions resulting with shortages in supplies leading to price increases, as well as second-round effects of the recent increases in administered prices “Furthermore, the likelihood of further increases in domestic fuel prices in response to persistent high international oil prices could add upward pressure to inflation,” said the researchers.

The researchers indicated that Bank of Botswana could be forced to further increase monetary policy rate from the current 2.15 percent if inflation rises persistently. “Should inflation rise persistently this could necessitate an upward adjustment in the policy rate. It is against this background that the interest rate scenario assumes a 1.5 percentage points (moderate scenario) and 2.25 percentage points (severe scenario) upward adjustment in the policy rate,” said the researchers.

The researchers indicated that while any upward adjustment on BoB monetary policy rate and commercial banks prime lending rate result with increase in the cost of borrowing for household and compnies, it increase profitability for the banking sector. “Increases in the policy rate are associated with an overall increase in bank profitability, with resultant increases in the capital adequacy ratio of 0.1 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points for the moderate and severe scenarios, respectively,” said the researchers who added that upward adjustment in monetary policy rate would raise extra capital for the banking sector.

“The increase in profit generally reflects the banking industry’s positive interest rate gap, where interest earning assets exceed interest earning liabilities maturing in the next twelve months. Therefore, an increase of 1.5 percentage points in the policy rate would result in industry gains of P71.7 million (4.1 percent increase), while a 2.25 percentage points increase would lead to a gain of P173.9 million (6.1 percent increase), dominated by large banks,” said the researchers.

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