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Mining Continues To Bleed Jobs

MBONGENI MGUNI
The slide in employment figures for the mining sector continues, with the latest Statistics Botswana survey showing that nearly 100 workers lost their jobs in the six months between March and September 2017.

The figures are contained in the data agency’s September 2017 formal jobs survey released on Thursday.

According to the survey, the number of workers in the mining sector dropped from 8,115 in March 2017 to 8,019 in September, continuing a slide seen since the third quarter of 2015.

In the last three years, jobs in the mining sector rose from 12,547 in September 2014 to 12,773 in September 2015, before falling to 12,372 in September 2016 and 8,019 in September 2017.

While the biggest impact on the numbers was the October 2016 closure of BCL and Tati mines, 2017 was a harsh year for diamond mines with the closure of Ghaghoo in February and Lerala in June. Stats Botswana figures also show that between December 2016 and March 2017, the

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mining sector shed 1,013 jobs, at a time when all other private sector employment categories, except for construction, were on the rise.

Overall employment figures as at September 2017 show that total formal jobs amounted to 409,184 up 1.1 percent from June 2017. The figures include 67,310 Ipelegeng jobs.

“The brief shows that overall, formal employment increased by 1.1 percent between June and September 2017 with Local Government recording the highest increase of 4.3 percent, followed by Central Government and the private sector with 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

The increase in Local Government was mainly prompted by the increase in employment of the Ipelegeng Programme, recording an increase of six percent.

“Parastatal organisations recorded a decrease in employment of 0.6 percent,” Statistician General, Anna Majelantle said.



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