Butale Decries High Unemployment Rate

| January 27, 2015

Tati West MP, Mr Biggie Butale has voiced concern over Botswana’s high unemployment rate particularly among the youth.

Addressing residents of Jackalas 1 during a kgotla meeting on Friday (January 23), Mr Butale said it was sad that despite its level of wealth, the country still failed to create jobs for its citizens.

He said though the efforts made in this regard over the years were indeed commendable, there was still more that could be done. He said it was time government considered using the country’s large coal deposits to produce fuel saying this on its own could create quite a number of employment opportunities for Batswana.

Such a development, he said would also serve to lower the amount of money used to import fuel from other countries. Furthermore, Mr Butale said the iron ore deposits that the country has could also be used to manufacture cars, in the process creating even more jobs.

All these, he said would be attainable were it not for the country’ self-doubt. MP Butale also expressed discontent at what he said had become the norm that only foreign companies had the muscle and know-how of implementing mega-projects.

This, he pointed out had not only denied a lot of capable Batswana the opportunity of playing a role in developing their country but had also contributed to their lack of economic empowerment. He observed that it was crucial that citizen economic empowerment became one of government’s key priority areas.

On a different matter, the legislator said time was also ripe that different local languages be taught in schools as a way of ensuring that they did not become extinct. He also implored government to set up radio and television stations whose purpose would be to promote all local languages.

On issues that had been discussed during the previous sitting of Parliament, Mr Butale informed the residents that government had since taken a decision to exempt payment of Valued Added Tax (VAT) on purchases of farm implements such as tractors and planters.

He expressed optimism that this would help Batswana immensely as prices would drop. He also informed them about the envisaged changes to the Societies Act that would see among others the registration of new churches requiring that there be at least 250 members, up from the current requirement for only 10people.

For their part, residents thanked government for the VAT exemption on agricultural implements. Jackalas 1’s Kgosi Tapson Jackalas said this was indeed a good move.

He however urged government to consider extending the decision to also cover medical services, saying many Batswana laboured under heavy medical bills which had been pushed up by the addition of VAT.

Another resident, Mr Michael Muzola also welcomed the move, however calling for government to consider removing VAT from services relating to the provision of electricity. He said many people could not connect electricity to their homes due to the high cost of doing so, adding that VAT had not helped matters.

On the numbers required for the registration of new churches, Mr Muzola said the suggested figures were too high and would result in those desiring to register churches to just submit names of people not at all interested in being church members.

This, he noted would defeat the law’s purpose of trying to curb the mushrooming of churches. Raising a different matter, Mr Jackson Mdhluli appealed for an increase in the Old Age Pension, saying the current amount was too low to permit the elderly to live comfortably.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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