Government’s short-term employment support scheme for able-bodied low-skilled workers, known as Ipelegeng, has boosted formal employment in the country.
The programme, which employs over 50,000, is designed to maximise employment of simple tools and machinery, unskilled and semi-skilled and unskilled labour in the implementation of labour based initiatives and maintenance of government facilities. According to the recent employment figures released by Statistics Botswana (SB), overall formal sector employment increased by 2.5 percent from 389, 665 in September 2012 to 399,530 persons in September 2013, according to recent data from Statistics Botswana (SB).
Local government recorded the highest increase in employment of 9.6 percent, followed by parastatal organisations with 7.7 percent. The statistics body reiterated that the increase in local government employment was due to a high increase in the number of Ipelegeng employees, which was 15.2 percent. Central government recorded a decline of 0.4 percent in employment.
During that period, 15,334 (3.8 percent) persons employed were non-citizens and the major employer of non-citizen employees was wholesale and retail trade, at 2,679 persons (18.1 percent).
“Manufacturing and construction followed with 2,465 (16.1percent) and 2,375 (15.5 percent) persons, respectively.
“Private sector had the largest share, accounting for 47.5 percent, followed by central government at 26.2 percent,” said SB.
The figure shows that males except for central government, which was dominated by females at 53 percent, dominated all the sectors. The highest proportion of male employees was recorded by the local government sector at 63.4 percent, followed by private sector and parastatal organisations at 59.2 and 58.8 percent respectively.
The proportion of employees by sex at industry level shows that males were dominant in mining and quarrying and construction industries, with 84.8 percent and 80.9 percent respectively. The highest proportion of females was found in health and social work with 70.4 percent, followed by community and other services and financial intermediaries at 64.2 percent and 62.9 percent respectively. Hotels and restaurants recorded a significant proportion (58.2 percent) of females. At a job creation meeting with the private sector held last week, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi said unemployment in the country is a challenge that requires both short and long term remedies. He also noted that it requires bravery and conviction, adding that the main aim of the meeting is to seek sustainable solutions to employment creation. “What is required are successful businesses which generate sustainable employment,” he said.