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Create jobs, Protect Jobs

Publishing Date : 27 July, 2015

Author : EDITOR

Fifty Five (55) companies have notified the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs of their intentions to retrench, some plan to restructure which might result in retrenchments. Job creation is well documented as a priority area for the current administration.

There are many initiatives aimed at creating jobs. But the latest revelations in regard retrenchments should spell problems for us as a country; we are not able to sustain jobs!

We argue that as we push to create jobs, it is important to make sure that those that are already employed have their jobs protected. It is scary that such a big number of companies can notify the Ministry of possible retrenchment in such a short space of time.

If 55 companies intend to retrench in the next three months, and already 297 people have been retrenched by other companies, it is an indication that government must engage the private sector and industry captains to establish a middle ground to at least keep people on their jobs.

It is worth noting that we cannot create jobs through speeches or meetings; we cannot protect jobs by talking. Companies and institutions that employ these people must stay in business. It is well documented as to what happens when multitudes are not employed or literally have no source of income.

We applaud the seriousness that has been given to the issue of job creation because the high office of Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been tasked with this mandate. It is important that results are realised on this front. The Vice President’s office must have forums through which they engage companies to get feedback on the status of the economy so as to get a sense of the job market.   

We all know that persistent poverty, increasing income inequality and slow job growth – further exacerbated by financial and economic crises – are critical constraints on economic and social progress. If our society is to remain rooted on its founding principles and cultural bedrock, it is important that the knitting fabric of having a provider in families is sustained.

But the rate at which people are losing jobs, failing to get jobs, threatens our very nucleus – family. If our families have no providers they will disintegrate hence a threat to social harmony.  

Promoting inclusive job-rich growth is a central challenge for all countries today. With global unemployment at historically high levels, there has never been a greater need to put employment at the centre of economic and social policies. In addition we must also protect the same jobs; ensure that people do not lose jobs.

Even among those who work, the extent of poverty underscores the need for a far greater number of productive and decent jobs. Just to cite as an example, How many lives depended on the recent 88 employees of Kgalagadi Breweries who were retrenched in Lobatse? The number 88 may as be multiplied by ten!

We take it that Vice President Masisi’s agenda is to place employment at the heart of economic and social policies. He must ensure the creation of productive employment, to better the lives of people who are either unemployed or whose remuneration from work is inadequate to allow them and their families to escape from poverty.

Therefore we feel that his role is very strategic and he will need a lot of help and many hands. It is a serious concern that among companies that planning retrenchment we find those that drive the economy of our country like DTCB, and government’s employing agency DPSM!

During the period 2010–15, the ILO’s strategy for promoting full, productive and freely chosen employment include the following key outcomes: coordinated and coherent policies to generate inclusive job-rich growth; skills development policies to increase the employability of workers, the competitiveness of enterprises and the inclusiveness of growth; and policies and programmes to promote sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurship – We are of the view the Vice President’s Office could tap into the ILO strategy and customise to Botswana.



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