BDC job cuts gather momentum

Fengyue glass project in Palapye.
Fengyue glass project in Palapye.

Employees of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) have formed a representative council to engage management on the looming retrenchment at the parastatal. The 85 employees are not unionised and have initiated a workers’ forum with management to handle the matter.

BDC’s new MD, Bashi Gaetsaloe, said his approach was to deal with the ‘re-organisation’ as swiftly as possible, in a manner that is fair to all parties. “In doing that, we have opened dialogue with staff and they are communicating to us through open channels,” he told Mmegi yesterday. “We have agreed that we will share everything with them on how decisions will be made.”

The looming retrenchments are part of a new three-year strategy to turn the formerly profitable state entity around from the losses it has suffered in recent years. The losses, which were measured at P22.5 million last year, are largely a result of poor investment decisions and failure of subsidiaries. The ‘poor investments’ include the recent write-off of P511 million in the Palapye glass-manufacturing project, a highly publicised initiative, which became a subject of parliamentary enquiry. “The focus is not on retrenching, but rather transforming the organisation and getting the right business model. Staff have embraced that and have ideas for the business,” said Gaetsaloe.

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