LEA could slash 100 jobs in drastic makeover

LEA is set to reduce its workplace
Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) could cut close to a third of its 378-strong staff, in a broad restructuring exercise led by a new CEO and made urgent by revelations of perennial wastage at the parastatal.

BusinessWeek has learnt that although a new structure due to be unveiled at the parastatal will include new job titles, its net effect could be the removal of up to 100 existing positions.

The exercise is said to be part of a broader clean-up ahead of a planned merger with one or more parastatals under the Trade Ministry. LEA, it is expected, could merge with CEDA as both deal with SMME development and support, in pursuit of citizen empowerment and economic diversification.

This week, sources close to the developments said LEA spends about 74% of its annual subvention from government on salaries, with only six percent reserved to pursue its mandate. LEA’s grant for 2018/19 rose to P156.8 million, from P141.7 million in 2017/18 and P139.9 million in 2016/17.

The Authority’s structure is also reportedly top-heavy with 45 managers and 10 directors spread across the country. On a monthly basis, the Authority reportedly spends between P30,000 to P50,000 paying rent for each of its 12 branches across the country, despite the fact that the parastatal has land for development in various locations.

Sources within the Authority said new CEO, Racious Moatshe was championing the makeover as he had realised LEA was not serving its mandate, after taking over the top seat last October.

Moatshe reportedly conducted a structural analysis shortly after taking over office and is spearheading the restructuring exercise in consultation with staff representatives and unions.

“The CEO felt that it was important for the bulk of

the government subvention to be channelled towards delivering on the mandate not on salaries,” an insider said.

“We have received letters informing us about the exercise and all of us are still waiting to hear who will be absorbed and who is leaving.”

Another source within the Authority said the presentation made on the restructuring made sense, even though it had created anxiety about the loss of jobs.

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) secretary general, Tobias Marenga told BusinessWeek that the union is on board in the exercise.

“I can confirm that we are indeed aware that LEA is undergoing that exercise and it has engaged a consultation firm which is advising on the best possible ways of conducting it. We have met this firm and it has presented to us,” he said.

According to the Marenga, BOPEU consulted LEA staff last month to update them about the developments.

The Union is waiting for the consultation firm to complete the structure that will be used.

“The final results from the firm should be out by end of June and this will suggest how to replace the staff, what to do with the ones that will not be absorbed and also how many will be released. The results will also show the proposed retrenchment package,” he said.

Questions sent to LEA on the upcoming exercise had not been responded to by the time of going to press.

LEA was established 13 years ago and boasts 13 branches and four incubators.




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