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INSIDE THE UDC MANIFESTO: Decent Jobs, Decent Lives

Publishing Date : 20 May, 2019

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Transform the Economy to Create Jobs

An efficient and inclusive economy that supports accelerated job creation.

The economy has been growing on average at 3.8% per annum over the ten years to 2017, which is well below the target necessary to address the triple crises of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Young people alone account for over 50% of the unemployed. Botswana is the third most unequal country in the world, behind Namibia and South Africa. Corruption is rampant. It denies Batswana access to basic services, as well as opportunities for economic and social advancement.


As the UDC, we commit to building an economy that works for all. The economy we envisage grows at a sustained real rate of 6-8% per annum. Its growth is inclusive, job rich, and pro-poor. We will modernize our infrastructure – rail, road, telecommunications, water and connectivity – to build a strong backbone for a high performance economy and spark a construction boom. We will reform the business environment to accelerate domestic investment and increase inflows of Foreign Direct Investment. Above all, we will invest in building first rate human capital to set Botswana firmly on the path to readiness for the fourth industrial revolution.

Our unwavering aim is to create 100,000 decent jobs in 12 months, and build an economy that sustains a Living Wage of P3000 per month comfortably. An important part of our strategy is reopening BCL Mine and correcting the injustice its ill-advised closure visited upon the nation as a whole and at a more intense level, the people of Selibe Phikwe and neighbouring villages.

SMME development and Citizen Economic Empowerment


A UDC government will adopt an aggressive approach to the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and the informal sector in order to accelerate job creation and empower citizens. Botswana’s SMME sector contributes far less to employment and GDP than its potential. We would like to see an SMME sector that accounts for 40-60% of GDP and an even bigger share of employment.


We will, through a package of interventions - on access to finance, access to markets, skills, technology and business development and support services – remove the critical bottlenecks on the growth and development of SMMEs. We will also promulgate a Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) law.


Replace Ipelegeng with a Labour Intensive Public Works Programme
We will introduce a Labour Intensive Public Works Programme that imparts artisan skills, develops community assets such as paved roads, small scale dams, storm water drainage systems and culverts, does afforestation and pays a Living Wage.


Advancing Social
Transformation


Equal access to social services

The Health care system in Botswana is failing. Although we have a relatively okay health infrastructure across the country, health facilities are understaffed. They do not have requisite equipment and medical supplies. Doctor and nurse to patient ratios are too high relative to World Health Organization standards, thereby compromising the quality of health care.


We will improve the quality of public health care by progressively working towards full compliance with WHO standards for staffing, availing appropriate equipment in health facilities, resolving the logistics and procurement challenges around the availability of medical supplies, deploying ICTs to improve system efficiency and access to services, and improving the working conditions of health care professionals.


Our education system is in total disarray. Failure rates in public schools are too high at both the primary and secondary education levels. Teacher to student ratios are also unacceptably high. Primary and secondary school infrastructure is dilapidated. Schools do not have critical equipment and materials. Working conditions for teachers are deplorable. The current student allowance for tertiary students is so low as to be a binding constraint on access to learning.


We will ensure FREE and COMPULSORY QUALITY education to all learners from the pre-school to the secondary school level. We will supply tablets to learners in primary and secondary schools within the first three years of a UDC government. WE will raise the Tertiary education student allowance to P2, 500 per month and provide FREE sanitary pads to primary and secondary school learners. We commit to reduce the student teacher ratio to 1:25 and improve working conditions of teachers. Classes will also have a Teacher and Teacher Assistant to ensure quality education and time is afforded to learners.

Old Age Pension

The old age pension in Botswana is a paltry P530 per month, which sadly denies our senior citizens dignity in old age. We will increase the old age pension to P1, 500 per month to help seniors afford the basics for subsistence.

Fight Corruption and Create Accountable Government
Public Service Accountability and Service Delivery

Corruption, nepotism and patronage are endemic in the public sector. They have a debilitating effect on efficiency and the delivery of services. These problems are traceable to acute deficiencies in leadership and management, and weak systems of accountability and oversight.
To support a stronger, more effective, efficient and accountable public service, we will:

• Reform the Public Sector into an efficient and effective machinery for the delivery of public services.
• Remove all accountability and oversight institutions from the control of the Executive.
• Undertake a comprehensive review of the Judiciary.
• Transform the office of Ombudsman into a Public Protector.
• Institutionalize a transparent and merit-based system of appointing senior executives in the civil service and parastatals and a robust performance management systems.

Protection of Human Rights

A UDC government will set up appropriate mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights. We will:
• Appoint a Constitutional Review Commission within 6 months.
• Ratify and domesticate all International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, and build effective mechanisms for social dialogue.
• Review legislation to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

Transforming Agriculture

The UDC will raise productivity in agriculture and transform low productivity, unpaid self-employment and family labour into higher productivity paid employment. We will invest in productivity enhancing technologies, quality extension services, critical infrastructure such as electricity and water and improved access to high value markets.

Development of Sports and the Creative Industry

Cities, towns and villages lack basic sports and recreation facilities. Artists struggle to get recognition and to commercialise their craft. Private sector funding for sport is negligible compared to the norm in other countries. There are no structured mechanisms for early talent identification, nurturing and development. There is no strategy for the development of sports and the creatives as industries.


A UDC government will develop strategies for the development of sports and the creatives and invest in their development as industries with proven potential to generate jobs, contribute to national output, and transform lives. We will build strong mechanisms for early talent identification and development, provide appropriate facilities in villages and towns, and employ appropriately trained youths and retired sports persons. We will introduce, in consultation with stakeholders, local content quotas in both public and private radio and television stations. We will adapt and use existing community halls as youth sporting and recreational facilities for various sporting codes.


Preparing Botswana for the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Botswana is ill-prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It has no 4IR strategy. Its human resource development systems are failing. It has limited internet connectivity. Data costs are high. It has no innovation capacity to speak off. Business uptake of technology is low.
A UDC government will invest in the three critical 4IR capabilities of first rate human capital, first rate infrastructure, and business sophistication.


We will subsidise data usage for students and unemployed youths and provide facilities with high speed connectivity and computers to provide platforms for ICT graduates to engage in programming, coding, and software development. We will establish a 4IR Presidential Task Force to advise the government on transition to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Our manifesto sets out five key result areas in which a UDC government will pursue results to build a future of inclusive prosperity. The five areas are Governance and Anti-Corruption, Economy and Jobs, Labour and Employment, Education and Health.

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