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Botswana to appear before ILO

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Government with trade unions will be heard at the ILO
In the same month the country celebrates its 50th independence in September, the Government will appear before the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) to answer to violations of the organisationís conventions.

Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) told a press conference yesterday that they were fed up with the government coming up with laws defying the ILO conventions. “We are worried that the government is moving aggressively and swiftly to amend all labour statutes; we are regressing instead of improving,” BOFEPUSU secretary general TobokaniRari said.

Rari said the government sits on the ILO governing body and should be obeying ILO conventions, but they are moving in a different direction. The federation is aggrieved by amongst other things, the Trade Dispute Bill, which seeks to make teachers and many other civil servants essential service providers.

The federation is also against the BEC Bill which has since been suspended. “The Bill seeks to force teachers into forced labour rendering their services to a different entity from the one that employed them. That is against the ILO conventions,” Rari said.

Rari also said another issue is that of the new Public Service Bill which aims

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at government taking control of the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC). “The Bill gives powers to government to appoint the secretariat from within its employees. This is aimed at killing the PSBC,” he said. According to the deputy secretary general KetlhalefileMotshegwa, taking Botswana before the ILO will see the country’s name tarnished and world rankings going down. “This will have an impact in the long run. Investors are bound to be less attracted to Botswana. People might find it necessary to vote in a different government and we hope it will lead to the government doing things in a proper manner,” he said.

On a different matter, the BOFEPUSU president Johannes Tshukudu slammed the government for spending P100 million on independence celebrations. “Instead of giving young people these farming programmes where they fail, we could be using the money to empower youth already in business so that they can create jobs for more young people,” he said.



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