BCP petitions for job losses

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 18 March 2015   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
Dr  Kesitegile Gobotswang Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is set to present a petition to Parliament on the plight retrenched workers at BOSETO mine in Maun and Teemane Manufacturing Botswana in Serowe.
Addressing members of the media on Monday, the BCP Secretary General Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang said that the petition will also be used to call public attention to the broad structural failure of government to regulate and provide oversight in the mining sector and in the diamond cutting and polishing enterprises.
As a measure of redress the BCP also intends to sponsor a private members bill in parliament to amend the Employment Act and provide for the protection of the workers’ rights in cases of retrenchments and insolvency.
According to Dr Gobotswang, their petition has been motivated by the fact that recently the mining sector and its diamond manufacturing industries in Botswana have experienced high levels of closure and job losses, striking a major blow to the country’s efforts to diversify the economy, improve beneficiation and create sustainable employment opportunities.
In their petition Dr Gobotswang says the BCP will question and demand a solution for the continuing failure of the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to entrench a regulatory framework to protect Botswana’s economic interests and that of workers.
The BCP is also to question the exorbitant wages and benefits for executive managers as well as the high costs of land acquisition/rentals and utilities which they say are some of the factors creating a difficult economic environment for business enterprises, leading to serious bottle necks and the collapse of many of them. “These are matters over which government has sole responsibility and which should have received urgent attention,” said Dr Gobotswang.
According to a statement from the BCP, the prevailing problems in the diamond cutting and polishing enterprises call into question the role and influence of government. “It appears government continues to be a helpless bystander, unable to play an effective oversight role to ensure effective beneficiation and protection of the rights and interests of workers,” he said.

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