In his response to President Masisi’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Leader of Opposition (LOO), Dumelang Saleshando observed that the address lacked bread and butter issues like job creation.
According to Saleshando, unemployment, which is prevalent among the youth is the most concerning factor, hence why it is disturbing that President Masisi did not address it.
To deal with the unemployment “frustration that runs through the minds” of Batswana, the Leader of Opposition has came up with a Ten (10) Point Agenda which he believes can deliver the much needed jobs;
•Adopt a 12 months plan for all Ministries to Bring Back the Exported Jobs
•Commit the mining companies to process locally.
We need to respect the right of our people to work and open up mineral beneficiation companies in Botswana. As the diamond markets recover, this should be reflected in the numbers of Batswana going to work.
•Expand the budgets of parastatals that have potential to increase employment and merge those that have duplicate mandates.
Increase budget for Air Botswana to be able to make business out of Botswana’s tourism. Maun Airport being one of the busiest airports due to the wildlife in the northwest region of the country, if Air Botswana was to be financed, it would be as good as Ethiopian Airlines.
•Adopt Aggressive Plan for Green Energy
The exploitation of solar should also be accompanied by a campaign to manufacture the equipment required for solar stations. Many jobs will be created through such companies that will also position themselves to service the region in the medium to long term. We need to aim to be amongst the best in the world on solar power exploitation to get the jobs we need.
•Leveraging our diamond legacy for Synthetic Diamonds
•Exploiting the opportunities presented by Hemp
•New Jobs in the Education sector
Government needs to invest in developing our roads. Roads are a long term investment and pay back through increased trade, efficient movement of goods and services and lower costs of doing business. Roads are also able to pay for their maintenance through toll gates.
•Expanding Batswana Owned Businesses
Likewise, CEDA should identify entrepreneurs who have done exceedingly well and offer them additional funding to expand their businesses for sectors that offer more jobs. The quest to open up more job opportunities in a profitable manner should know no bounds.
•Prioritizing Existing Businesses ahead of Elusive
Government should convene a high level consultative council with big business and offer incentives for businesses that are willing to increase their labour force in the next 12 months. Reduced taxes for the expanding employers will be compensated by increased disposable income in the hands of Batswana.