Mmegi Online :: Ministry Unaware Of 'Oppressive, Hunger Diamonds'
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Last Updated
Monday 24 June 2019, 16:33 pm.
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Ministry Unaware Of 'Oppressive, Hunger Diamonds'

Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Officials say they are not aware of any allegations of abuse and trampling of labour laws in the country's backbone industry - diamonds.
By Staff Writer Mon 24 Jun 2019, 20:24 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Ministry Unaware Of 'Oppressive, Hunger Diamonds'








They were responding to questions posed by journalists at a press briefing in Gaborone last week that employees of some diamond companies are sometimes ordered to strip naked to be searched for diamonds. Commissioner of Labour, Sisi Seemule, said they have not received any complaint of such a nature but promised to investigate the matter. She said that searching of employees is permissible but it should not be done in an indecent manner.

Early last month, there were reports about employees of Dalumi Diamond Company in Mogoditshane having downed tools demanding a better pay. When contacted for comment, the management of the company denied the reports and said that everything was normal.

"Diamonds are a very important sector in our economy and if there are allegations of such a nature, they should be investigated," Minister Peter Siele added to the response.

The objective of the meeting was to share information with the press on initiatives put in place by the ministry to improve service delivery. The Labour and Home Affairs Ministry is among the biggest in the country being mother to, among others, the Departments of Immigration and Citizenship, Labour and Social security, civil and National Registration, Women Affairs, as well as Prisons and Rehabilitation. It was revealed that it will now take eight days to process Immigrants and Resident Permits; five days to process a passport; seven days for Visa; 10 days for Work and Resident Permit (Gaborone) and 22 days other places; four - 12 months for National Identity card (Omang); 14 days for

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Societies Registration; One day for Births and Deaths Registration; One day for marriages Registration; and 39 days for change of name. Over 49000 Omang cards are waiting collection in Omang Offices throughout the country. He added that some people sell their passports and ID cards to foreigners, something that could tarnish the image of the country.

Siele revealed that he has been touring the country explaining the recently introduced minimum wage for farm workers and domestic workers and the idea has been welcome by all stakeholders. He revealed that a recent survey has shown that there are over 25 000 children working in farms while 1500 are working as domestic workers.

He also revealed that his ministry is working on a policy on HIV/AIDS in the workplace and that they are consulting with all stakeholders on the matter before taking it to Cabinet. "We want to take everybody on board on this matter. People must treat HIV/AIDS like any other disease," he appealed.

With regards to complaints from factory workers who claim harassment from their employers to the extent that they do not allow them to go to toilet, the minister acknowledged that labour inspections are to be carried out regularly, but were not satisfying due to shortage of manpower. He, however, said everybody is welcome to report any wrongdoing to his office.

It was also disclosed that the Women's Affairs Department will soon be renamed the Gender Affairs Department. The ministry has now established a Public Relations Office headed by Lebogang Bok.

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