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Civil servants got 35% hike from 2008-2014

Masisi proposes Gov’t, Unions truce

The salaries and other benefits for public servants have regularly been adjusted upwards, albeit not as generously as wished in the context of the financial constraints brought on by the global recession.  Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi informed Parliament that contrary to generally held view that civil servants salaries have been stagnant, government actions resulted in an aggregate 35% increase in salaries and benefits since 2008.

He explained:  They stood at: 15%-2008, 10%-2010, 3%-2011, following the public service strike, 3%-2012, 4%-2014. In addition those on the lower end of the pay scale, C4 and below, benefited from the recession relief allowances of between P 150-239 per month. Each of which benefitted from successive salary increases being factored in, he said.

In addition, Masisi informed Parliament that Government introduced interest free advance scheme payable in 12 months for officers at grade D4 and below; free accommodation for officers based in remotest areas;  Adjustment of Remote Area Service Allowance (RASA) upwards – Some received close to P600 over 5 years . The Vice President said the Botswana Public Officers Savings and Credit Society which allows for a 10% interest loan was also put in motion; and recently public servants were allowed to own businesses.

“These initiatives were introduced as a result of Government's appreciation of the conditions and risks public servants were faced with,” he said.

Masisi observed that public servants are vital drivers of the Government agenda and therefore at the core of service delivery. He said it was for this reason that government continues to review their terms and conditions of service with a view to improve them.  “Of course this is within the confines and limits of economic performance, competing national priorities and interests of various socio-economic groups that Government has to serve.”

He continued: “To those who would further accuse this Government of being against workers, I wish to note that it was this Government's commitment to reform, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines and international best practise, which in fact opened the doors for the unionisation of much of the public service for the first time.

As we are in our infancy in this regard, it would serve us well for all parties concerned to keep abreast of best practices and in turn, inform members, whose best interests should always be in the fore whilst executing their core mandate. It goes without saying that a competitive country is enabled by good working relations with its Unions. Our doors are always open and we look forward to a productive 5 years in which we will continuously engage our unions and staff.”

Masisi said it was important for public servants to treat their mandate and role in serving the executive and members of the public with the graciousness they deserve.  He said his Government will continue abiding by international instruments on labour laws and harnessing productive and ethical labour relations.

“I must pause at this juncture and let the house know that past transgressions from both sides have come and passed and now we offer to workers of Botswana a new deal – let us engage with mutual respect and work together to serve our nation. We need you as much as you need us if we are to prosper- in fact, there is no us and them. We are not a nation of 'workers' and 'rulers', we are a single united nation that must work for the benefit of all its citizens,” he said.
 

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DJ Bafana’s one man show on the cards

21st February 2024

DJ Bafana, a talented DJ from Francistown, is gearing up to host his very own one-man show, a groundbreaking event that aims to not only showcase his skills but also empower fellow musicians. This ambitious project is currently in the planning stages, with DJ Bafana actively seeking out potential sponsors to help bring his vision to life.

In a recent interview with WeekendPost, DJ Bafana revealed that he is in talks with two potential venues, Limpopo Gardens and Molapo Leisure Gardens, to host his show. However, he is facing challenges in securing sponsorships from companies, particularly those who do not fully understand the importance of music-related events. Despite this setback, DJ Bafana remains determined to make his one-man show a reality and to use it as a platform to empower and support other artists in the industry.

What sets DJ Bafana’s show apart is the fact that he will be making history as the first person living with a disability to host a one-man show in Botswana. This milestone is a testament to his resilience and determination to break barriers and pave the way for others in similar situations. By showcasing his talent and passion for music, DJ Bafana is not only proving his worth as an artist but also inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.

As DJ Bafana continues to work towards making his one-man show a reality, he remains focused on his goal of empowering and uplifting his fellow musicians. Through his dedication and perseverance, he is setting an example for others to follow and showing that anything is possible with hard work and determination. The date for the show is yet to be announced, but one thing is for certain – DJ Bafana’s one-man show is sure to be a memorable and inspiring event for all who attend.

 

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Lady of Soul remains tenacious as ever

21st February 2024

Radio Personality Tebogo Sekgoma affectionately known as Lady of Soul is determined to keep pursuing her ambitions vigorously, in spite of hurdles and stumbling blocks.

In an exclusive interview with this publication, Sekgoma divulged that she is working on her memoir. Although she won’t reveal much, the broadcast veteran said she will essentially be telling the story of her life.

The former Sunday Live host is also serving as a board member (Secretary General) at Botswana Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BABPS). She is actively involved in advocating for the rights of the visually impaired, a hiccup she refused to succumb to.

 

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Inside the new disability Law

21st February 2024

The new Disability Law in Botswana is a significant step towards ensuring the rights and inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the country. This act, which was passed into law on the 11th of December 2023, is a reflection of Botswana’s commitment to upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

One of the key provisions of the act is the prohibition of discrimination against persons with disabilities in work-related matters. This means that employers will no longer be able to discriminate against individuals based on their disability when it comes to hiring, promotion, or any other aspect of employment. This is a crucial step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

The act also establishes a National Disability Council, which will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the act and ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected. This council will play a vital role in advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring that they have equal access to opportunities in all areas of life.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, the act also sets out disability standards that must be adhered to by employers and other entities. These standards are designed to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access the same opportunities and services as everyone else, without facing any barriers or discrimination.

Furthermore, the act provides for actions plans to be developed to address the needs of persons with disabilities, as well as administrative penalties and fines for those who fail to comply with the provisions of the act. This sends a clear message that discrimination against persons with disabilities will not be tolerated in Botswana.

Overall, the new Disability Law in Botswana is a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all. By prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and setting out clear standards for the treatment of persons with disabilities, this act will help to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their abilities, have the opportunity to fully participate in society.

 

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