BOFEPUSU expects mass retrenchments post SOE

Kabelo Adamson

Calls on govt for ‘better’ economic recovery plan.

The Federation of Public, Private, and Parastatals Sector Unions (BOFEPSU), has called on the government to come up with a better economic recovery plan to protect jobs after the State of Public Emergency (SoE) is lifted.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the union’s Secretary-General (SG), Tobokani Rari dismissed government’s current recovery plan as merely a repetition of the National Development Plan (NDP).

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Under the rules of the on-going SoE, extended by a further six months in October, companies are not allowed to retrench workers.

However, Rari warned that BOFEPUSU expects mass retrenchments once the SoE elapses at the end of March next year.

“We have companies whose businesses have shrunk and are not making profits. What is going to happen is that now they retrench. We are going to see an exodus of workers being thrown into the streets,” predicted Rari grimly.

The SG revealed the issue was discussed at length by BOFEPUSU during its recent Governing Council.

“The government of Botswana has said they have come up with an economic recovery plan. But to tell you the truth, there is no economic recovery plan that we see, what we only see is the regurgitation of the National Development Plan,” hit out Rari.

He implored government to be clear on exactly what measures will be put in place to sustain companies that are struggling.

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“We are calling on the government to do the actual recovery plan by indicating how they are going to assist companies that are not doing well such that workers are not thrown into the streets,” he said.

Rari further disclosed the Federation has engaged its own consultant to advise on how best to approach the economic recovery plan. The Union will then forward the consultant’s proposal to government.

Meanwhile, BOFEPUSU Deputy Secretary-General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa announced the Federation’s intention to embark on a campaign to raise awareness on the violation of workers’ rights.

“At the University of Botswana (UB), for example, we have found that most key positions in management are vacant, which raises questions on how the University is run when positions like Deputy Chancellor are vacant,” he said, adding UB would be part of the project.

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