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BOFEPUSU demands 10.5% salary increment

The Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC) officially commenced negotiations this week with BOFEPPPUSU proposing 10.5 percent salary increment and improved conditions of service for government and some private workers.

This comes after several delays emanating from endless court battles which hinged on basically who qualified to be on the Bargaining Council.
Following its disaffiliation from Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sectors Union (BOFEPPUSU), Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) had not re-applied for membership into the PSBC when the talks instigated.
Court had previously ordered that BOFEPUSU be verified and for BOPEU to make a fresh application into the Bargaining Council.

Weekend Post has learnt that in their first sitting on Thursday, the union party, BOFEPUSU tabled a whopping 10.5% proposal salary increment for its membership.
It is understood that the hike proposal is intended to cushion workers who span across public and private workforce against inflation and escalated cost of living.

“We arrived at 10.5 percent in totality looking at the issue of affordability that is what workers can afford; and also we believe that rewarding of productivity and catering for the cost of productivity is key; as well as what economy can afford for sustainability,” BOFEPUSU deputy Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshwegwa told WeekendPost on Thursday.
It is understood that government representatives through Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) will counter the union federation proposal.

According to BOFEPUSU deputy Secretary General, it is important for the Bargaining Council to continue functioning because that is where both parties being employer and workers can meet to exercise their bargaining rights as enshrined in the Public Service Act, Trade Unions and Employers Organisations Act, and further as espoused by International Labour Organisation (I.L.O) Conventions of Freedom of Association and The Right To Organise, The Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Council.

“Both these parties need to respect the Bargaining Council to ensure that there is Industrial peace in the Country to aid economic development and prosperity of this Country. The Government of Botswana has ratified I.L.O Conventions, something very commendable,” Motshegwa highlighted.  
He went on to state that the Government must demonstrate abidance and faith to these conventions. He asserted that: “the existence and functionality of the Bargaining Council is to the advantage of the Government in that there will be stability and harmonised industrial relations when there is a democratic platform where the employer and workers through Trade Unions dialogue.”

He pointed out that they are prepared to continuously dialogue with the employer (government) for the best interest of workers and of course in the best interest of Botswana.  
The trade unionist emphasised that “we call on the Government to deal away with its confrontational attitude towards trade unions for that is hurting the economy and stability of the country.”
“Objectivity and rationality must prevail over emotionalised and personalised decision makings and dealing with Trade Unions and workers.”

Recently government unilaterally took a decision to reward the public servants with 3% as per a directive dated 30th March 2016 and the adjustment became effective on the 1st April 2016. Through the court intervention, the matter was overturned.
The increase applied to the public service including members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Botswana Police, Prisons Service, Directorate of Intelligence Service (DIS) and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) which make up the non-unionised members.

PSBC comprises of BOFEPUSU under acting jointly agreement consisting Manual Workers Union, Botswana Land Board & Local Authorities & Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), Botswana Nurses Association (BONU), and Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM). 

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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