Business At BURS Continues As Usual

Business at the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) continues as usual albeit challenges emanating from the staff strike over salary increments.

Speaking in an interview with BOPA, BURS Commissioner General Mr Keneilwe Morris said they continue to open for business although there are challenges of slow service delivery.

Mr Morris said it was too early to quantify losses emanating from the strike saying it was early as it begun on July 23.

“Right now it is too early to tell the impact. We must note that at our customs posts there are days when business is slow and those in which business is fast, nonetheless owing to the industrial action people should expect slow service,” he said.

During the first five days of the strike, he said they have been able to collect P174 million on levy imposed in goods manufactured in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region, and P262 million on domestic taxes.

Mr Morris said there was a risk management plan in place following reports that commercial trucks were allowed in the country unchecked.

“These trucks file their customs formalities as required electronically which means that we already know what they are carrying even before they enter the country.

They comply with our customs processes. When we check the trucks we do it on the basis of risk detection just like it is done at a police roadblock, not every car will be checked under normal circumstances,” he said.

Not all employees however are on strike as in some boarders they reported to be carrying with their normal duties.

The Kazungula Boarder Post Manager Mr Jacob Moapare said he was not aware of the strike and everyone has reported for duty.

At Tlokweng boarder post, the strike is reported to be mild.

BURS employees have downed their tools following disagreements over salary increment as they are demanding an 11 per cent increase while the management says they can only offer 6 per cent.

Meanwhile Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) President Mr Andrew Motsamai has said during a press conference addressed on Tuesday that they have not been able to get all employees to strike.

“For now, I can say about 88 per cent of BOPEU affiliates are on strike,” he said.

He said most employees at boarder posts nationwide are on strike and was making the required impact.