The latest Labour Statistics Report 2013 published by Statistics Botswana in June 2017 has revealed that trend shows that employment for both males and females increased between the years 2006 and 2009, forming a mirror image, when male employment decreased then the female employment increased.
The gap between males and females was reduced during the month of September 2012; this is due to a significant number of females employed by the Ipelegeng program in Local government. This shows that Ipelegeng is absorbing more women than men.
Ipelegeng is a Government Initiative or programme whose main objective is to provide short term employment support and relief whilst at the same time carrying out essential development projects that have been identified and prioritized through the normal development planning process.
It targets unskilled and semi-skilled labour for short term assistance due to other economic factors through the use of simple tools and machinery. The programme focuses on maintenance of public facilities. Ipelegeng is targeted mainly at being a source of supplementary income and employment to, but not limited to, vulnerable members of the community. Currently the programme targets at engaging a total of 50,000 beneficiaries per month.
Meanwhile the 2013 Labour report states that in September 2013 the employment for females started to decrease in the formal sector. On employment by sex and sector the results show that during September 2013, the highest proportion of female employees was in Central Government constituting 53.0 percent, followed by Parastatal organisations with 41.2 percent.
“The lowest proportion of women was found in the Local Government with 36.6 percent. Local Government had the highest proportion male employees, 63.4 percent followed by Private sector with 59.2 percent. Overall, there were more males (56.9 percent) as compared to females (43.1 percent),” reads the report.
At industry level, more men were found in Mining & Quarrying with 84.8 percent, followed by Construction and Water & Electricity with 80.9 and 71.9 percent respectively. Females dominated in Health & Social Work, Other Community Activities, Financial Intermediaries and Hotels & Restaurants, with 70.3, 64.2, 62.9 and 58.2 percent respectively.
Total formal sector employment
Total formal sector employment for the years 2009 to 2013 increased from 389,692 persons during September 2012 to 399,530 persons in September 2013, an increase of 9,838 employees (2.5 percent) over the twelve months period, the report says.
Local Government employment recorded a significant increase of 9.6 percent, from 78,725 in September 2012 to 86,257 persons employed during the same month in 2013; followed by Parastatal Organisations with 7.7 percent, from 17,484 to 18,838 persons over the same period. Meanwhile private companies recorded an increase of 0.7 percent, from 188,531 persons in September 2012 to 189,894 persons in September 2013, while Central Government showed a decrease of 0.4 percent, from 104,925 to 104,541 persons in September 2013.
For the years 2003 to 2013 the trend shows that overall employment was increasing over the period, except for the year 2005 where there was a slight drop due to a decrease in the number of Central Government employees. Formal Sector Employment as at September 2013 indicates that for Private & Parastatal employment by industry for September 2012 and September 2013.
“Almost all the industries, recorded an increase in employment levels in September 2013. Water & Electricity recorded the highest increase of 11.9 percent in employment, followed by Health with 2.1 percent. Mining & Quarrying recorded an increase of 2.0 percent in employment during the twelve months period. Real Estate remained constant over the twelve months period. Water & Electricity recorded the highest increase in employment (4.5 percent); followed by Agriculture and Other Community Services with 3.5 and 2.0 percent respectively. Health & Social Work and Real Estate were constant over this period.”
According to the Statistics Botswana Labour report, private sector employment accounted for 47.5 percent of total formal employment in September 2013. Central Government accounted for 26.2 percent of the total formal employment in September 2013, while Local government and Parastatals recorded 21.6 and 4.7 percent respectively.
Commerce (Wholesale & Retail Trade and Hotels & Restaurants) constituted 31.6 percent of total Private & Parastatal employment during September 2013, followed by Manufacturing and Construction with 17.8 and 11.4 percent respectively. Health & Social Work recorded the lowest employment with 1.5 percent.
Employment by industry between September 2012, December 2012 and September 2013 is shown in Figure 1.6 below. The results show that between September 2012 and December 2012, most industries recorded a slight increases in employment. Only two industries, that is, Agriculture and Other community Services recorded decreases, of 2.7 (from 6,479 to 6,304) and 1.0 percent (from 4,214 to 4,170) in employment respectively. Between December 2012 and September 2013, four industries, Hotels & Restaurant, Transport & Communication, Financial Intermediaries and Education recorded decreases in employment. Real Estate was almost constant over the three quarters.
The labour force
In 2013, the labour force consisted of 900,337 persons. The labour force comprises the employed and the unemployed. Amongst the labour force, 720,296 (80.0%) were employed and 180,041 (20.0%) were unemployed. The unemployed are persons who stated that they were actively seeking work during the reference period, and are aged 15 years and above. Information on discouraged job seekers, (that is; people who were available to work but not seeking work during the reference period because they were discouraged) was not collected.
Employed population is defined to cover all persons in the working age group (15 years and over). The survey estimated employed persons at 720,294, of which 382,043 were males (53.0 percent) and 338,251 (47.0 percent) were females. The main industrial employers were Agriculture (25.5 percent), Wholesale and Retail Trade (13.2 percent), Real Estate (8.3 percent), Public Administration (8.1 percent) and Local Government (7.4 percent). Foreign Missions were the least with 340 employees, representing 0.05 percent of total employment.
Males were more dominant in Construction with 92.1 percent, followed by Transport & Communication and Mining & Quarrying with 89.1 and 80.5 percent respectively. Female employment in Education, Financial Intermediaries, Local Government and Health accounted for more than 60 percent of employment in each of sectors. A significant number of females was recorded in Private Households (91.1 percent) followed by Education (72.0 percent).
The Survey indicates that the most common occupations were elementary occupation accounting for 28.5 percent followed by Skilled Agricultural Workers and Services/Sales workers with 16.1 and 12.2 percent of the total employment respectively. The majority of Elementary Occupations were in the Agricultural industry, (33.2 percent) followed by Local Government and Private Households with 17.8 and 16.6 percent respectively. Managers/Administrators recorded the least occupation with 3.8 percent.
“The results indicated that 67.7 percent of the employed population worked for paid employment (in cash), followed by 15.1 percent of persons who worked in their lands/cattle posts. Self-employed persons (with no employees) recorded 9.2 percent of the total employment. The majority (17.1 percent) of employed population was in Gaborone, followed by Kweneng East with (12.7 percent) and Central Serowe/Palapye ranked third with 7.8 percent.
The Botswana AIDS Impact Survey overall unemployment rate was estimated at 20.0 percent, higher than the 19.9 percent recorded during the 2011 Population and Housing Census. The most affected age groups were the youths aged 20-24 and 25-29 as shown in the figure below.
“The total unemployed population was 180,041 out of which 82,834 (46.0 percent) were males, and 97,206 (54.0 percent) were females. Unemployment was more prevalent among the age group, 20-24 years, which constituted 28.7 percent of the total unemployment, followed by aged group 25-29 years with 22.1 percent. Youth aged 15-34 years accounted for 77.7 percent of the total unemployed during the 2013 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey.”
Most of the unemployed were found in urban villages (46.0 percent). This could be due to migration of the population from rural areas to urban villages for better opportunities. The least unemployment was recorded by Towns with 5.2 percent.
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.
JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.
This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.
“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.
This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.
“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.
UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.
This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.
Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”
Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”
UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.
Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.
“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.
The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.
President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.
While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.