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No need to panic

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No need to panic

Pick n Pay reassures as 3 500 employees retrenched in SA 2017/18 Botswana Real GDP growth rates projections show improvement

Following the recent retrenchment of 3, 500 Pick n Pay employees in South Africa, the supermarket’s hierarchy have dismissed fears that the same might happen here.

Calling for calm, Pick n Pay Botswana’s General Manager, Sallies Botha, explained that what happens in neighbouring countries has no bearing on the Botswana enterprise because it is a franchise.

“We do not have the same problems as they do. In fact, we are anticipating enormous growth going into next year,” he told Voice Money this week.

Botha described the trading climate in the country as ‘competitive’ but promised customers and employees that all was well at Pick n Pay Botswana.

To corroborate the General Manager’s claims, Voice Money visited the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Draft of the 2017-2018 Budget Strategy Paper, in which it projected Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates by sector from 2014 through to 2018.

According to the draft, the Non-mining Private Sector, to which retail outlets belong, has shown noticeable growth from 3.6 percent in 2014 to 4.8 percent in 2016.

This is expected to rise to 5.0 percent by the end of 2017 and remain the same in 2018.

The 2017-2018 budget speech draft doesn’t veer far from the 2017 budget speech the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Mathambo delivered to the National Assembly earlier this year.

During his speech, the minister stated that the outlook for 2016 was positive, with the domestic economy expected to recover and record a growth rate of 2.9 percent for the year, and forecast to reach 4.2 percent in 2017.

He explained the optimistic outlook was based on the anticipated slight improvement in the mining sector, and positive growth prospects for the non-mining sectors.

However, he noted there were downside risks to 2016 and 2017 growth prospects, such as the slow recovery of the global economy, and falling commodity prices.

“Price stability is one of the important elements for macroeconomic stability, the latter being a necessary condition for growth and job creation in the country.

“It is therefore pleasing to note that the domestic annual rate of inflation has remained slightly below the Bank of Botswana objective range of 3-6 percent during 2016,” he announced in his February 6th address, adding that the rate of inflation actually declined from 3.1 percent in December 2015 to 3.0 percent in December 2016.