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Ipelegeng employs more than entire parastatal sector

Publishing Date : 06 September, 2017


Statistics Botswana this week announced stats indicating that employment in Botswana is increasing, contrary to the general sentiment of growing unemployment amid job losses suffered in the mining and related sectors in recent years.

The preliminary results of the Botswana Multi Topic Household Survey under Economic Activity were released this week showing a decline from 19.9 percent in 2011 to 17.6 percent. The survey was carried out during the 2015/2016 period. Statistics Botswana targeted a population of those aged 18 years and above, estimated at 1, 2 million of which 838 002 were economically active and 430 675 were economically inactive.

One of the major contestation is the inclusion of Ipelegeng in the employment stats, representing a total of 6.2 percent. Previously Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo had stated in parliament that the exercise of including Ipelegeng workers on employment figures is to satisfy the International Labour Organisation (ILO) requirements that guide data collection regarding employment. Ipelegeng, a controversial government initiative however does not provide long term jobs as the beneficiaries are also expected to serve one month and then give others a chance. According to the stats, the program is employment for 52000 individuals while quasi-government institutions only employed 36000 individuals.

While qausi-government institutions are seen as strategic institutions for both money generation and employment, opponents of the institutions believe they rarely grow and have contributed little over the years. The release of the unemployment statistics come in the wake of gravest joblessness in the history of Botswana following the closure of the BCL mine and Tati Copper Nickel mine, which have led to over 6000 individuals employed by those companies losing their jobs instantly. More jobs have been also lost in the mining sector.

Statistic Botswana Deputy Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni revealed that, in gathering the data, they were only considering those who have been looking for employment in the last 30 days. A chunk of unemployed individuals who did not participate in job seeking activity, do no form part of the unemployed bunch, according to the organisation. Statistic Botswana chief, Anna Majelantle was however excited with the progress as she noted that her organisation had a total of sixteen modules covering a range of topics. “Due to the extensive data collected and the need for detailed analysis of each, Statistic Botswana has adopted a modular approach to the release of the survey results. The final product will be a comprehensive report,” she said.

“This was the second multi modular survey after the 2009/10 Botswana Core Welfare Indicator Survey. The primary objective of the survey is to provide a comprehensive set of indicators for labour market and poverty. Many of you will know that poverty eradication and employment creation are priority areas in this country.” Statistic Botswana works jointly with the University of Botswana and Human Resources Development Council. According to the findings, the private sector remains the largest employer as it represents 44.6 percent of the labour force, followed by government with 22.1 percent, private households with 12.2 percent and subsistence farming with 9.9 percent.


The stats also reveal that women are on the receiving end of unemployment as compared to their male counterpart. About 19.1 percent of women were unemployed compared to 16.3 percent of males.


The survey estimated youth (15-35 years) unemployed at 25.2 percent, with female unemployment higher at 26.9 percent compared to 23.6 percent for males.  


Majority (39.4%) of those who were unemployed were junior certificate holders followed by secondary school certificate holders with 22.4 percent. Unemployment among university degree holders was estimated at 11.4 percent, the research revealed.



Do you think the closure of BCL will compel SPEDU to double their efforts in creating job opportunities in the Selibe Phikwe?