Botswana: Batswana Too Dependent

| February 17, 2016

By Jeremiah Sejabosigo

Gaborone - More than half of the adult population in Botswana depends directly on the government for economic survival, economic expert, Dr Keith Jefferis outlined last week.

Making a presentation during a panel discussion on the national budget interpretation symposium organised by Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) business hive group on Friday, the eConsult Botswana managing director explained that approximately 540 000 from 1 million adults in Botswana depend on the government for economic survival.

Presenting on the topic: Strategic intent of the national budget and its forecasted impact on economic development, Dr Jefferis said the dependence was found in areas such as employment, old age pensions, destitute allowances, Ipelegeng payments, and other government economic empowerment programmes.

He said the heavy dependence was problematic and that many recipients feel the impact when government transfers do not get increased which impacts negatively on economic development.

He said even though the country has had slow progress with job creation and high rate of unemployment, where people were really squeezed was the issue of high dependence on government transfers for livelihoods.

"You look at the number of people who are on old age pensions, destitute allowance, Ipelegeng, ISPAAD farmers, and students' allowances. If you add that and you add the number of people who are employed by government the number is about 540 000.

This means that over half a million of Batswana depend on government for their livelihoods," Dr Jefferis said.

He said another problem facing the economy was that business confidence has remained weak after it was affected by the global economic crises in 2009. He said business confidence has not recovered since it dropped in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.

Dr Jefferis said this has been caused by slow progress in reforming the business environment.

Another panelist, the acting chief executive officer of Business Botswana, Mr Dichabe Molobe expressed concern that while government expenditure on education has grown significantly, examination results have deteriorated over the past three years.

Source: BOPA

Category: Governance

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