Ipelegeng promotes laziness Magang

Former cabinet minister and property magnate David Magang charges that government poverty eradication schemes promote laxity and laziness amongst Batswana.

He has lambasted his party’s administration projects as hiding behind a finger, claiming to create jobs. He said that the programme has many shortcomings and gives the impression government is prioritising on safety nets over creation of tangible employment.

“The people so engaged simply want a form of engagement in which they can work for a few hours and then spend the rest of the day napping in the shade of a tree. These same people are shunning better-paying jobs; they do not want to be maids or farm labourers where they can earn double and even treble what Ipelegeng gives them.

These days, a live-in maid can make between P1,000 to P1,500 with free food and accommodation,” he states in his recently published book titled ‘Delusions of Grandeur’.

He added that most Batswana employ Zimbabwean maids and farm workers because Batswana are so well taken care of by their government that such kind of work is beneath them.

He further said that institutions that were established to grant loans to entrepreneurs give out very little money that cannot create jobs.  He said that if government was serious about job creation, it should give out millions in loans, and not a couple of hundreds of thousands.

“As I keep reiterating, government seems to be of the sneering view that Batswana were not meant to be sky-scraping entrepreneurs but fringe, low ebb operators for purposes not of creating wealth but simply getting by in a money economy,” he argues.

He states that this is the reason why there are huge economic disparities that are visible from space. He said that former vice president of World Bank, Obiageli Ezekwesili, visited Botswana in 2012 and was appalled at the income gap that exists in the country.

According to Magang, Ezekwesili made this observation that: “With income inequalities, the purchasing power becomes centralised. Only a few with higher income can afford services like good education, which would lead to them having lucrative jobs. On the other hand, the low income earners take up cheap and poor education, that eventually lands them low income jobs”.

Magang’s argument is that government is at the forefront of promoting low wages for less skilled Batswana across all sectors, keeping them poorer forever. He cited salary discrepancies in the civil service, where in 2012, the Permanent Secretary to the President was earning approximately P48,000 whilst a cleaner was earning P1,350; Chief Executive Officer of National Development Bank was earning  approximately P98,000 a month.

“In the year to June 2011, the two executive directors of the Botswana Stock Exchange listed Choppies Group earned a total of P11 million. Their individual monthly earnings in salaries and bonuses amounted to close to half a million Pula. Contrast this jackpot with a till operator in a Choppies store, who drew a throwaway salary of barely P1,200 a month without the merest fringe benefit!”

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