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Human Resource training fund underutilised

Keikantse Lesemela

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Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) recorded an increase in the uptake of the training fund this year to 20 percent against the set target of 18 percent from the total number of levy payers.

In its 2017/2018 annual report, HRDC Chief Executive Officer Dr Raphael Dingalo said the training levy collection was P300 million as compared to P292 million reported in the previous year. The fund realised a surplus of P28 million in the current year as compared to a deficit of P87 million in the previous period.

“Although the training levy collection has been consistent, notable strides were made to improve on the utilization of the training levy for skills development. The initiatives undertaken during the year included intensifying levy payers uptake and utilization support including continuous review of processes and procedures,”

However, HRDC states that there is still low uptake of the HRD fund and there is lack of training plans by levy payers. Through the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), local companies are allowed to train citizen employees and get reimbursed for all the costs incurred. Any company that has an annual turnover of P1 million qualifies to submit claims to the HRDF to train their staff.

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Market Street day supports local products

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged citizens to promote and support local products thus contributing to employment creation and economic development.

Speaking during the ministry’s Market Street day on Saturday, the trade minister said the ministry came up with the initiative to expose local products to the national market. “The plan is to keep growing so that we get Batswana products in the shops and get Batswana to know the products in the shops,” said Kenewendo. Market street day was initiated last year as a platform to add on to the continuing efforts to grow local businesses. This year, retail sector, including Shoprite, Choppies and Ackerman’s from South Africa participated in the exhibition.

Kenewendo pointed out that supporting local products helps reduce export of jobs. “Most of Batswana will say they don’t want to buy locally produced goods because they are of low quality, we need to buy from them so that they grow. When we buy products from other countries we are exporting jobs, why should we export jobs?” she asked rhetorically. Economic diversification drive should not be a Government initiative alone, only but all citizens should contribute, she concluded.

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Botswana behind in ease of doing business

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Botswana has been challenged to improve easy of doing business for the country to remain competitive amongst its peers.

The Director of Investor Facilitation and Relations at Special Economic Zones Authority’s (SEZA), Neo Mahube recently told delegates at the two- day investment symposium dubbed Doing Business in Botswana, Transitioning Botswana that the country needs to be globally competitive.“The world is growing better than we are, there is something that we are not doing right, despite our political stability and sound economic policies,” said Mahube.

Currently, Botswana lags behind Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa on the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Mahube said bottlenecks that investors and local startups face to register a business should be resolved.

“We need to transform the way we are doing business, if we are to bring businesses to Botswana,” said Mahube, adding that the country needs to be as efficient as possible to start a business, apart from improving credit efficiency.

She however applauded government for legislation amendment initiatives that have already been put in place ahead of the transformation journey. Mahube said through transforming the ease of doing business the country has potential to create employment.

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