Haskins Nkaigwa (Gaborone North) Asked the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Unity Dow if there were any plans to reduce the tertiary education funding cut off points from 36 to 30 to accommodate more students funded by Government for tertiary education.
Access to Education and Skills Training at post secondary level target transition into Tertiary (universities and colleges), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (technical colleges and brigades) institutions. These institutions admit and enroll, students for programmes ranging from certificate to degree and postgraduate levels. Government through the Ministry currently provides sponsorship to qualifying students as follows:
1. Subventions to Technical and Vocational Institutions through
Annual Recurrent Budget. The Ministry does provide living allowances for students at these institutions. These Institutions offer programmes from Certificate and above and have their cutoff points at 34 and above. These Institutions however also admit Junior Certificate holders hence increasing access.
2. Subventions, Tuition and Student Allowances to Tertiary Education Institutions for qualifying students for Diploma programmes and above and have their cut-off points at 36 and above.
The lowering of cut-off points for purposes of further increasing access is something that the Ministry would love to do if conditions permit. These conditions include availability of funding and consideration for quality.
Those students who do not manage to be admitted to Tertiary Institutions, Technical Colleges or Brigades are encouraged to re-sit their BGCSE subjects through BOCODOL and other private providers to improve on their results so that they can get admission.
It is for these reasons that my Ministry does not find it necessary to reduce the tertiary education-funding cut off points from 36 to 30.
Polson Majaga (Nata-Gweta)
Asked the Minister of Finance & Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo whether the country’s Exchange Control Regulations have an exit levy when one repatriates their money; if so what percentage is charged, and if not, whether he does not deem it necessary to introduce such a levy as a mechanism to raise the revenue and better Botswana’s capital flows management as well as modernise the exchange controls regulatory framework in line with international best practice?
Response: Botswana abolished exchange controls on February 8th, 1999. Therefore, Government cannot use exchange control regulations to impose any levies on capital flows or the management of such flows. The way in which Botswana operates is in line with countries that have fully liberalised their exchange controls.
Government does not deem it necessary to introduce additional levies on repatriation of profits and/or externalisation of dividends because there are existing taxes. First, there is a corporate tax rate of 22 percent imposed on profits. Secondly, there is withholding tax on dividends of 7.5 percent.
Therefore, there is no need for additional levies, as businesses have to retain part of their profits to finance their operations. This is consistent with the objective of ensuring that Botswana continues to attract foreign direct investment and support capital market development.
Polson Majaga (Nata-Gweta)
Asked the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane if he was aware that the Headmen of Records cannot administer oath; if so, are there any plans to authorise them to do so.
Response: I am aware that Headmen of Record do not administer oath, as they are not included in the Commissioner of Oath Act. Currently there are no plans to authorise them to do so as this is a legal matter and we need to be alive to the implications thereof.
Going forward, my Ministry will engage Attorney General’s Chambers with a view to exploring the possibility of their inclusion in the Commissioner of Oath Act.
Thato Kwerepe (Ngami)
Asked the Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse to state the number of students trained to take up jobs created at the Leather Park in Lobatse; if none, what will his Ministry do to get this project started.
Response: There have been initiatives to build capacity in the leather industry in Botswana. In this regard Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has trained 46 clients in their leather incubator since April 2010. However, this training was not specific to the Leather Park Project. .01
In addition, it should also be noted that there used to be tanneries in Lobatse and Pilane, which were subsequently closed down leaving a pool of people who are knowledgeable in leather products and processing.
Further, during the Leather Park study the issue of capacity building to provide the necessary skills to work in the Leather Park was highlighted as being critical to support the leather industry. Going forward, the Government is putting in place capacity building initiatives to ensure that relevant and adequate skills for the Leather Park Industry and in general exist as explained below;
The LEA Leather Industries Incubator has been remodelled to offer short courses on leather design, cutting, stitching, lasting and finishing on a continuous basis, whilst at the same time training leather products producers within the Incubator.
Ministry of Education and Skills Development, in collaboration with LEA, have committed to the development of leather skills in Botswana through the proposed conversion of the Lobatse Brigade into a Leather School of Excellence.
LEA, in collaboration with Retired industry experts from Germany, who will be arriving at the end of July 2015, (SES), will be capacitating both the LEA employees and clients in leather production.