Botswana: Low Salaries Cause Poverty - Boko

Lobatse — The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader, Advocate Duma Boko, says low salaries in the public and private sector contribute to poverty.

He said this during the launch of UDC parliamentary candidate for Lobatse, Mr Orapeleng Kakoma and council candidates recently.

He said it was disappointing to see some civil servants earning less than P2 000 per month.

And it was disturbing that some long serving civil servants who were still on the bottom salary band were earning less than P3 000 per month.

"These are the people who will retire into poverty and end up with no other option apart from working in the Ipelegeng programme," Advocate Boko said.

He expressed concern that the legislation had allowed private businesses to pay some of their employees less than P1 000.

Advocate Boko, therefore, called on the electorate to vote his party to power so that it could address low salaries issues.

"Umbrella for Democratic Change will pay you a P3 000 living wage, not something which puts you into poverty. Those saying a P3 000 living wage will cripple the economy are not telling the truth.

Companies in Botswana make big annual profits and would not struggle to pay employees the P3 000 living wage we are proposing," said the UDC leader.

Advocate Boko said the BDP led government had for many years let down the town on employment creation as well as provision of the health and sanitation services.

"It is disappointing that many areas in this town still use pit latrine toilets yet Lobatse was established a long time back.

This town is where the meeting on formulation of the country's constitution was held in 1961," he said.

He further promised that his party would re-open the BCL mine if it attained power.

He pointed that re-opening the mine would bring in 20 000 jobs back into the economy directly from the mine and companies providing services to the mine.

He also said his party would make sure that soda ash from the Sua Pan mine was processed in Botswana to create employment. He said processing the salt in Botswana would create more than 55,000 jobs.

"The best way to create jobs is through manufacturing because it creates direct jobs," he said.

Mr Kakoma promised that he would provide the constituency with strong representation in Parliament if elected. The general elections will be held on October 23.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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