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Ipelegeng popular among women

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.

 

Unemployment rate

 

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.

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Major public services shake-up looms

24th January 2022
Emmah

Public Servants should brace themselves for some changes as the government is in an overdrive mode to overhaul the public sector. The government has also set the tone for the looming changes as it has added the public sector to its looming list of major and sweeping reforms.

This is contained in a savingram from the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Emmah Peloetletse’s office showing how the government intends to “take stock” of all reforms in the public sector through the establishment of an inventory.  Peloetletse’s savingram addressed to various ministries and the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) reveals that the government is working around the clock to implement some changes in the Public Service.

The savingram reminded Permanent Secretaries of various ministries and DPSM that the public sector reforms unit (PSRU) at the Office of the President is mandated with Coordinating Reforms across the Public Service.  “This essentially entails providing the strategic guidance and facilitation in the implementation of reforms across the Public Service. In this endeavour the Unit has in the past with Technical Assistance from European Union developed a template for documenting Reforms in the Public Service and documented ten (10) major reforms across the Public Service,” reads the savingram in part. It added that “The Unit has lately rolled out the Change Management Framework in an effort to facilitate effective and efficient management of change in the Public Service.”

According to the savingram, it has been noted that for a variety of reasons the use of the template for documenting reforms has not been universally used across the Botswana Public Service.  It further states that to facilitate the documentation of the reforms it is essential that an inventory of the various reforms across the Public Service (Central Government, Local Government and State Owned Entities) is established.

“By this correspondent we are seeking your assistance in populating the attached template to provide basic information on the various reforms. The PSRU will, through the various Coordination of focal Persons facilitate the full documentation of the reforms once the inventory is established,” the savingram further stated. The copy of the template among others calls on the focal persons to fill out them form under several headings; they include title of reform, start date, reform objectives, reform components, reform components, progress status.

The savingram echoes President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s announcement last year during his state of the nation address that as a nation Botswana has set itself a lofty goal of becoming a high income country by 2036 and has come up with a list of reforms among them digitisation of government infrastructure. He said the path to achieving this goal dictates that, Botswana takes deliberate steps that will transform its institutions; the way Batswana think and the way they act.

“It is with this in mind, that I presented a Reset Agenda in May 2021, with the following priorities: Save Botswana‘s population from COVID-19, by implementing a series of life saving measures that include a successful and timely vaccination programme, Adherence to COVID-19 health protocols remains key and align Botswana Government’s machinery to the Presidential Agenda, to ensure that the national transformation agenda will be embodied in the public service of the day,” said Masisi. He added that, “this will come with significant Government reforms in all public institutions. We need greater agility and responsiveness like never before in the delivery of public services.”

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Covid-19 Task Force meddled in tenders-report

24th January 2022
Dr. Kereng Masupu

The Presidential COVID-19 Task Force reportedly meddled in the awarding of tenders for COVID-19, a new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report has revealed.

The Committee expressed concern that it has noted that there are two centres for covid procurement being the Ministry of Health and the Covid Task team in the Office of the President. The report says the Committee questioned the Accounting Officer on why the COVID 19 task team is usurping the powers of the Ministry of Health by engaging in covid procurement when the Ministry of Health is the one which has the experience and mandate of dealing with the pandemic. The report says clarification was also sought on why direct appointment is the preferred method for covid procurement.

“In her response the Accounting Officer stated that the task team was mainly engaged in the procuring of quarantine facilities and was assisting the Ministry of Health due to the heavy workload brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic,” the report says. The report says the Accounting Officer further stated that direct procurement was used because COVID 19 was treated as an emergency and that procurement was mainly from companies that have been traditionally used by the Ministry of Health.

“This however, is not the case as there has been report of new companies being awarded COVID -19 contracts. The use of direct procurement method should only be used in exceptional cases as it’s a non-competitive method which increases the risk of inflated pricing and close relations with particular suppliers to the detriment of others,” the report says.

It says since most covid procurement fell under emergency, there is need for openness and transparency regarding the procurement.  The PAC recommended that in order to ensure transparency and accountability all COVID 19 related procurement should be periodically published in the PPADB website giving full details of the companies receiving procurement contracts and the beneficial owners of the companies.

It says with the passage of time the impact of covid is no longer unexpected so direct awards should gradually be abandoned as the medium and long-term needs of the pandemic can now be predicted. “Judgement should be used even during direct awards to ensure that prices are not higher than the market prices,” the report says.

In a related matter, the report says the Central Medical Stores (CMS) was unable to cater for the required quantities of medical supplies with order fulfilments of about 35% resulting in shortages and insufficient drugs to Athlone Hospital and the surrounding clinics.
“In his submission the Accounting Officer had indicated that CMS was unable to supply the exact quantities required by the hospital and surrounding clinics due to the fact that supplies from CMS have to be rationed in order to cover other facilities around the country,” says the report.

The committee expressed concern about the inadequate supply of drugs to government facilities which puts the lives of patients at risk due to non- availability of essential supplies. It recommended that the Ministry identifies and prioritise measures that need to be taken to ensure that there is adequate supply of essential medicines which are needed in the public health system.

Meanwhile the report says the Ministry of Health and Wellness coordinates the operations and functions of some institutions which receive government subventions and secondment of staff from the government. These institutions include 10 NGO’s, two mission Hospitals, three mission clinics and two schools of Nursing.

It says in its endeavour to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of government support to NGOs the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development developed some Policy Guidelines for Financial Support to Non- Governmental Organisations.  According to the PAC report, the guidelines were meant to ensure that there is consistency, accountability and transparency in administering public funding to NGOs. However, the Ministry of Health did not comply with the very important guidelines.

“The main areas of non-compliance were the following: (i) There was no Evaluation Committee to vet proposals from NGOs, in some instances NGOs had formed part of the evaluation forum when their requests were being considered,” the report says.  It says there was continued funding of NGOs even when they failed to submit narrative and financial progress reports; and (iv) Continued funding of NGOs that failed to submit audited financial statements and management letters as required. The Committee expressed concern at the lapses in the administration of grants by the Ministry despite the large sums of public money awarded to these NGOs.

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BDF killings of Namibians: Court unable to rule on missing gun

24th January 2022
BDF

The Kasane Regional Magistrate Court refused this week to rule on whether three Namibians and their Zambian cousin shot dead by members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) were in possession of a rifle or not prior to their deaths.

Ruling in favour of the BDF members, Regional Magistrate Taboka Mopipi who presided over the inquest said, “It is acknowledged that no rifle has been produced before court to confirm that indeed the deceased were armed and or that there was indeed a gun shot.”  She said the evidence before the court is that search for the rifle(s) that allegedly triggered the gunfire exchange was done by both Namibia and Botswana SCUBA divers and nothing was found. She said when the said search was done, an area of search was demarcated around the scene area which was partly searched due to water animals such as hippos that launched an attack at the area during the search.

“The search was therefore never concluded. This therefore leaves a gap. To that end, the area not extensively searched, the court cannot make a finding whether the rifle in issue was there or not. This is a very crucial piece of evidence,” added Mopipi. She said the joint search did not conclude the exercise and I cannot properly make a finding of fact adding that that the rifle was there as the BDF allege can therefore not be ruled out.

The deceased are Martin Munilweye Nchindo, Ernest Nchindo, Tommy Sinvula Nchindo and Sivula Munyeme. The four deceased persons died on the night of the 5th November 2020, in the waters of the Chobe River (Southern Channel) near Sedudu/Kasikili Island in Botswana. Mopipi said the incident took place at night, in a gloomy atmosphere and that as at the time, movement in that particular area was restricted and or not permitted.

She said it was the evidence of some of the witnesses that the injuries as observed on the four deceased reflected that they were brutally assaulted and or beaten either before or after being shot. “Their evidence gained support from Witness 34, Dr. Bithoma Thotho Amis who observed post mortem on behalf of the families of the deceased and Government of Namibia. This witness however conceded during cross-examination that the injuries as observed have been caused by other contacts and or impacts such as falling and hitting the hard surface of a wooden canoe,” said Mopipi.

She emphasized that inquest proceedings have very serious consequences and therefore, whatever evidence brought before court must be produced by persons of right qualifications particularly the post mortem report which the court has to rely upon.
“The qualification of the expert is crucial in determining the credibility of the report. Upon assessment of both experts, I am inclined to adopt the reports from Witness 18, who is a qualified pathologist. A closer look at the other report indicates that the author, Witness 34 is not a qualified pathologist and it is meddled by issues outside an expert opinion,” she said.

Mopipi said reports compiled by a consultant Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kaone Panzirah-Mabaka show the causes of death as follows; Sivula Munyeme, gunshot injury to the chest and extremities, Martin Nchindo, gunshot wound to the abdomen and pelvis, Ernest Nchindo, multiple gunshot injuries to the chest and extremities and Tommy Nchindo, gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen.

“Medical evidence therefore prove conclusively that the four deceased persons died due to gunshots injuries. It is undisputed that the injuries were inflicted by seven (7) members of the Botswana Defence Force; Lieutenant Moreri Kenneth Mphela, Sergeant Ndingisano Nfazo, Sergeant Puisano Pistor Kgokong, Private Mbikiso Tafila, Private Emmanuel Moganetsi Majuta, Private Barulaganyi Rannosang and Private Oromilwe Motlhabi,” said Mopipi.

Mopipi found that there was a gunshot from the direction of the men to the direction of the BDF section.  “The BDF members retaliated and returned fire. This was done in accordance with Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) within the BDF. According to the SOPs, in case a soldier is being fired at, they fire back and do not have to wait for a command,” she said. She added that “The gunfire exchange was brief and after it ceased, they used a torch to light where the men were and established that all the four men were motionless, two in one canoe, one in the other and the other man lying on the edge of the river on the Island.”

She said, “The evidence of the witnesses is that, when they followed the intel, the intent was to conduct an investigation. There was clearly no intent on their part to shoot the deceased, they did that as an act of retaliation.”

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