Just when the country is coming to terms with the overwhelming COVID-19 pandemic and it’s wearing impacts, unemployment seems to be the next crisis. For the record, unemployment in Botswana has been a chaotic trial over the years. Even though the numbers were not bad, COVID-19 actually fueled the entire situation and drastically spiked the numbers.
This week Statistics Botswana released the latest report on unemployment in Botswana, and the numbers don’t look good. According to this organization, currently unemployed persons are persons who did not do some work in reference period for payment, either in cash or in kind, profit or family gain.
These people should have been actively seeking work in the past thirty days and were available to start work. Discouraged job seekers are persons outside the labor force who wanted employment and were currently available but did not seek employment during the short reference period of measurement, for labor market-related reasons.
Quarter three 2019 Quarterly Multi Topic Survey, estimated total unemployed population at 194 990. In quarter four 2019 a total of 211 743 unemployed persons were recorded, indicating an increase of 16 753 (8.6%) in the total unemployed population. The total unemployed continued to increase in the next two quarters of 2020.
In quarter one 2020, the total was estimated at 226 598. This is a 7.0% increase from the previous quarter. Quarter 4 2020 estimated the total unemployed at 238 731. This is an increase of 5.4% as compared to the results of quarter one 2020.
According to Statistics Botswana, the total number of discouraged job seekers for Q4 2020 was estimated at 81 008. This is an increase of 36.8% (21 793) in the number of discouraged job seekers as compared to the 59 215 that was estimated for Q1 2020. For Q4 2019, discouraged job seekers were estimated at 69 393. Annual change in the total number of discouraged job seekers (Q4 2019 to Q4 2020) depicts an increase of 16.7% (11 615) in the total number of discouraged job seekers.
In Q4 2020, there were 26 723 unemployed males aged between 20 and 24 years old, as compared to 25 709 females of the same age range. Those of the age bracket 25-29 stood at 23 804 and 29 105 for both males and females respectively. The extended unemployment- that is- the combination of actively seeking and not seeking employment persons in the reference periods, stood at 319 740 in Q4 2020. Of these, 238 731 (74.7%) were actively seeking work and 81 008 or 25% were discouraged job seekers.
Overall unemployment rate for Q4 2020 was estimated at 24.5%. This estimate relates to individuals who were actively seeking work during the reference period. Statistics Botswana reported that unemployment rate for females was estimated at 25.8% while males recorded 23.3%.
Comparison over the last three Qs show that unemployment rate has been increasing from quarter to quarter. In Q3 2019, the rate was recorded at 20.7%. It went up to 22.2% in Q4 of 2019, and reached 23.2% in Q1 2020. The annual change between Q4 of 2019 and Q4 2020 depicts an increase of 2.3% in the overall unemployment rate.
The group indicated that the extended unemployment rate was estimated at 30.3% in Q4 2020 whilst 27.55 was recorded in Q3 2019. This indicates a 2.8% annual change in the relaxed unemployment rate. The internationally used measure of unemployment is the actively seeking work (24.5%), according to the report.
The most affected age groups were the 15-17 to 20-29. Age group 15-17, Statistics Botswana says recorded the highest unemployment rate of 61.1%. This was followed by the 18-19 age group with 51.0%. Age groups 20-24 and 25-29 recorded 43.4 and 31.4% respectively. It was further underlined that unemployment rate for the labor force aged 18 years and above (Q4 2020), was estimated at 24.5%. In Q3 2019 the unemployment rate for ages 18 years and above was estimated at 21.9%, showing an annual upward change of 2.8%.
Urban areas recorded the highest rate of 27.4%. The group says rural areas and cities and towns recorded 25.7% and 17.1% percent respectively. For all regions, female unemployment rate was higher than male unemployment rate. The highest rate for females was recorded in urban villages with 28.9%. For males, the highest unemployment rate was also recorded in urban villages with 25.7%.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.