Below is a guidance video of how to complete COVID19 Wage Subsidy FORM

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The Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) wishes to remind its valued clients that BURS has various electronic platforms or eservices available on the BURS website at www.burs.org.bw through which clients may continue to be facilitated. These services are particularly important during this period of extreme social distancing intended to combat COVID-19. As such, taxpayers are urged to continue utilizing these platforms for filing and payment of taxes due to ensure that they remain up-to-date with their obligations.

We note that during this period of lockdown, some taxpayers may be constrained to fulfil their obligations
while others may require guidance on some of the reliefs announced by the Honourable Minister of Finance
and Economic Development. In this regard the following arrangements are in place:

Extension of due dates for return filing and payments.

Suspension of collection of training levy collectable under the Vocational Training Levy Order No 101 of 2008
All persons registered for VAT are informed that following the Government’s decision to suspend the charging of
training levy for the period of April 2020 to September 2020 as part of the COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures, BURS will not collect Training Levy for VAT returns due and filed during this period. In this regard,

  • Category A taxpayers: Training levy will not be collected for VAT returns due and filed in April,
    June and August 2020
  • Category B taxpayers: Training levy will not be collected for VAT returns due and filed in May,
    July and September 2020
  • Category C taxpayers: Training Levy will not be collected for VAT returns due and filed in April, May,
    June, July, August and September 2020

Deferment of self-assessment tax
Following the pronouncement of deferral of self-assessment tax by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, BURS is in the process of developing Guidelines to unpack the application of the relief. This is based on the premise that qualifying companies shall be required to pay at least 25% of their quarterly instalments and may defer 75% of their self-assessment tax quarterly instalments during any two-installment periods between
March 2020 and September 2020. Once complete, guidelines will be made available on BURS facebook, BURS
Website page and the Media. The deferred amount shall be due commencing March 2021.

For further enquires please contact the BURS Communications office on the following numbers:
363 9708 / 363 9210 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

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Q1 What nationality do the employees need to be?

Citizens of Botswana with valid o’mang.

Q2 How much should employers pay employees?

The purpose of the subsidy is to provide assistance to employees of eligible sectors. The Government cannot dictate to employers how much they must pay employees but encourages employers to do their best to meet employees wages and salaries.

Q3 Can an employee apply on his own?

NO. The facility is to be accessed by employers on behalf of their employees.

Q4 Is there a difference between wages and salary for purposes of the subsidy?

No. Wages and salaries are the same for purposes of the subsidy. The computation of subsidy, however, is based on the basic wage or salary of the employee.

Q5 How do we treat non-monetary benefits in computing subsidy?

Non-monetary benefits are not considered in determining 50% of the employee’s wages or salary.

Q6 If a business is owned by a non-citizen, can the business apply for the subsidy?

Yes. The criteria for application is that the business must be an eligible business with Batswana employees

Q7 If a business owes BURS any taxes can they apply?

Yes. The subsidy applies even if the employer owes BURS any taxes. However, businesses are encouraged to continue meeting their tax obligations.

Q8 How does the subsidy work for domestic employees such as house help and farm help?

The subsidy does not apply for private employment. It only applies in respect of registered and eligible businesses.

Q9 Can an employee for whom taxes have never been deducted be eligible for the subsidy?

YES. Some employees do not earn the minimum income to pay tax. However, they remain eligible to be paid under the wage subsidy

Q9 Construction employees not on current payroll due to finished or completed project?

Any person not considered to be an employee at the time of the subsidy is not eligible for receiving subsidy support.

Q10 Can I correct or amend a claim form once I have successfully uploaded it?

Yes. An amended claim form may be submitted. However, BURS may make enquiries to determine the reasons for the amendment

Q11 Rent-a-chair hair salon – can we claim for the individuals renting chairs?

In the instance of rent-a-chair, the renters are not employees and cannot, therefore, be considered for the subsidy. However, if the renter is a business registered for tax and is considered to be an employee of that business they may be eligible.

Q12 Which identification numbers should non-citizens enter during registration?

Non-citizens should use the number of the passport they used to apply for a residence or work permit.

Q13 Common claim form issues:

a). Changing the structure of the form Applicants should not change the structure of the Claim Form template. That is, do not add or remove column headers and do not rename column header labels

b). Error message: Unsupported file format validation The downloaded template is in the format of a CSV file. After completing the template ensure that the file is saved in this same format i.e. csv (comma delimited) before attempting to upload.

c). Omang starting with zero: To address this, follow the following steps:

  • Step 1: Highlight the ID (Omang) column in excel.
  • Step 2: Right click and choose Format Cells.
  • Step 3: In the list that appears, select text and click ok.

d). Error message: Sorry we could not process your request Applicants are advised to download a new form and complete that. e. Adding commas or ‘P’ to monetary amounts Applicants are advised not to include commas or ‘P’ in completing monetary values. P2000.00 is incorrect and should rather be entered as 2000.00. 30,000.00 is incorrect and should rather be entered as 30000.00 f. Which account number should be inserted in employee rows? The completion of the cell is optional

Q14 Some of my employees left my employment during the period between December 2019 and March 202.

These individuals are not the claimants employees and should not ordinarily be considered for a claim. See Question 26 for guidance on how to treat retrenched employees

Q15 During registration, which account should I use, the employer or employee account number?

The account number to be used for registration is that of the employer. The payments from BURS will be paid to employers for onward distribution to employees. See question 19 below.

Q16 Employee left my employment before end of April 2020 but is currently unemployed. Can I claim for them as my former employee?

NO. The employee is not in your employment and should therefore not be considered for an employers claim.

Q17 Employee left my employment before end of April 2020 and was due to commence employment at a new employer in April. Can the new employer claim for them?

The new employer may not claim for the new employee as the employee has no wage record with the new employer.

Q18 What if I don’t have internet access? Can the process be accessed in any other way?

Unfortunately, the facility is only available online to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID19. BURS will not accept registration or claim forms in any other way other than online.

Q19 Who will be receiving payment from BURS, the employer or the employee?

The employer will receive the subsidy funds for onward distribution to employees.

Q20 What should be entered in the Subsidy Claimed column on the WAGE SUBSIDY CLAIM FORM?

The completion of this column is optional. BURS will compute the subsidy claim on the basis of the basic contractual salary or wage of the employee and notify the employer.

Q21 My business is not listed in the list of Business Sectors in the Registration form? What should I do?

The list of business sectors on the registration form is not exhaustive. Applicants are therefore requested to find a business sector that closely resembles their business. However, the business sectors in the Guidelines at Question 2 are not eligible.

Q22 If an employee is on maternity leave and are earning a reduced salary or wage which salary or wage can they use for claiming subsidy?

The salary or wage to be used is their basic contractual salary or wage.

Q23 Can we use an Orange Money, Mascom My Zaka, bemobile smega or similar payment instead of a bank account number during registration?

NO. Payments are to be made only into account numbers of banks registered in Botswana. Payment facilities such as the ones mentioned above are not to be used for this purpose.

Q24 My employer is not keen to apply for the subsidy. How can we be helped?

Employers are encouraged to apply for the subsidy to supplement wages or salaries of employees if their ability to pay full wages has been compromised by COVID19. Employees are therefore advised to the Secretariat of the Public Finance Management (COVID-19 Pandemic (Corona Virus) Relief Fund) as advised in Question 12 to the Guidelines.

Q25 My employees don’t have bank accounts. How do I pay them?

The subsidy is paid to employers for distribution to employees. Employers are encouraged to find ways of ensuring employees are paid especially during this period of lockdown.

Q26 What if I had retrenched employees before the subsidy was made available?

Employers who had retrenched employees due to the fall in business as a result of COVID19 are advised to retain their employees and ensure they are paid the wage subsidy.


From:

Acting Commissioner General
Botswana Unified Revenue Service

Dated: 14th April, 2020

Published in Business

Businessman and Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma, has successfully managed to place under Provisional Judicial Management his United Refineries Botswana Holdings (URB) – a cooking oil manufacturing plant in Francistown. Guma’s petition comes weeks after he was reported to being followed by the taxman. Guma is the Chairman of the company.

Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) was reported to be after Guma’s companies for failing to pay tax. Guma is unhappy that state institutions are being used to fight political wars. BURS and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have been raiding some high-profile people for tax related matters among them tax evasion. URB has been put under provisional Judicial Management through an order of the court by Justice Tshepo Motswagole of Gaborone High Court.

Justice Motswagole has ordered that while the order remains in force URB shall be under the direction and management of the Provisional Judicial Manager Evans Munalula, and that the said Provisional Judicial Manager shall himself be subject to the supervision of the Registrar and Master of the High Court. “As from today any other person or persons vested with the management of the Respondent’s affairs shall be divested thereof, and that the affairs of the Respondent shall forthwith be managed by Provisional Judicial Manager appointed in terms of this order. The Provisional Judicial Manager shall discharge the duties prescribed by Section 472 as read with Section 474 of the Companies Act.

“The Provisional Judicial Manager shall be empowered without the authority of the shareholders but subject to the authority of the creditors and the Master, to borrow money with or without security on behalf of the Respondent for the purpose of paying essential running expenditure in and about the business of the Respondent including salaries, wages, and utilities for the business required by the Respondent and to pledge the credit of the Respondent for any goods or services required,” said the Judge.

Justice Motswagole ordered that while URB is under Provisional Judicial Management all actions, proceedings, the execution of all writs, summons and other processes against the URB be stayed and be not proceeded with without leave of the court being obtained.
He ordered a rule nisi (temporary order) returnable on April 12th 2019 calling upon all interested persons to appear and show cause, if any, to the court why a final Judicial Management order should not be granted. Any party intending to oppose the relief sought in the proceedings is expected to file their notice of opposition in terms of the Rules of the High Court and file their answering affidavit.

According to BDC website the mandate of URB is to procure, refine and distribute vegetable oil in Botswana, with particular interest in the Botswana market and also the export market in countries in the SADC region. The company manufactures crude cooking oil through a refinery. The company imports the raw sunflower it uses for producing its cooking oil from South Africa.

In 2015 then Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Advocate Sadique Kebonang described progress made by URB towards realisation of an edible oil refinery and seed crushing plant construction as impressive. Advocate Kebonang who was touring URB plant in March that year said he was happy that the URB team made the project visualisation a reality by utilising available skills.

The close to P100 million project is estimated to refine between 2 500 -3 000 tonnes of edible oil per month. URB, a 100 percent citizen-owned company, manufactures cooking oil at its edible oil refinery plant situated at the Dumela Industrial Site in Francistown. The company was issued a licence to start operations in October 31st 2016.

Published in News
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 15:51

Taxman after Dada’s millions

Motor Centre Botswana (MCB) - a motor dealership company owned by long-serving Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Treasurer, Satar Dada want a decision against him to pay Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) over P12 million income tax for the tax year 2009 set aside.

This comes after the tax agency, BURS, charged the multimillionaire, tax income even though he argues that he lost money amounting to P53 million after a loan deal between his company and Lobatse Cash Store (LCS) Pty Ltd and Lobtrans Pty Ltd. The protracted legal battle emanates from a loan in 2007 by MCB to Lobtrans to enable it to meet its ‘additional working capital requirements’. MCB invested R50 million in Lobatse Cash Store and the parties agreed that all transactions in respect of the agreement be made in the name of LCS. The agreement was also that the repayment of the investment capital was to be made by Lobtrans on the first Friday of every calendar month.

Court documents seen by this publication indicate that in the agreement Lobtrans had arranged an investment of R50 million from MCB and the investment was to be secured by tankers of the company. In 2003, MCB started acquiring South African Rand from a Mr. Asmal, a member of the local Muslim community known to the Dada family, who owned three companies, Lobatse Cash Store Pty Ltd, Lobtrans Pty Ltd and a business known as ASA Bureau de Change which dealt in foreign currency.At the beginning of January 2007, Lobtrans, LSC and MCB entered into a written agreement in terms whereof MCB ostensibly undertook to invest the sum of P50 million in Lobtrans for a period of 12 months. MCB was to make the investment by making payment to LCS.

Towards the end of 2007 the relationship with Mr. Asmal came to an unhappy end, this is according to the court papers. The usual eft (electronic funds transfer) payment for the December 2007 purchase was not made at the beginning of January 2008. “MCB deposited two cheques of P60 million and R5 million which were dishonoured. MCB derived benefit from the fleet of vehicles as prior security interests had been given to financial institutions by Lobtrans,” argues MCB in court papers. When the tax agency in 2009 made its assessment, it ignored the loss that Dada’s company made and assessed the appropriate tax payable in respect of the assessment to be P12 million, says the motor vehicle company. MCB argues that it cannot be taxed this amount because the company has made a loss of over P53 million.

When the tax agency approached MCB in 2009, the company appealed´ to the Board of Adjudicators who dismissed the appeal. MCB then took the matter to the High Court, which also dismissed the company’s appeal. The appeal was heard on 3rd December 2013. In July 2014 the Board dismissed the appeal and confirmed the additional assessment. The Board agreed with the characterisation of the loss being the loss of a loan and thus of a capital nature. Now MCB wants the highest court to set aside the lower court’s ruling in its favour. High Court Judge Godfrey Radijeng in his ruling in March last year stated that, “the agreement in my view was a commercial document intended by the parties to bind them. The literal meaning of the words used as canvassed by the Board are to my mind what they say and nothing more”. 

Radijeng concurred with the Board of Adjudicators that MCB cannot argue that the agreement should not be relied on because it was not implemented. He said in his view MCB cannot seek to absolve itself of its responsibilities arising from the agreement that was implemented because as the company alleges, it is unenforceable for vagueness.“The appellant’s contention in relation to the first issue is that both the Board and the High Court came to a conclusion that the amount was to be characterised as a loan solely on the basis of a written document and the interpretation to be given thereto and ignored all the objective factual evidence of the transaction that occurred between the parties,” reads MCB heads of argument.

But BURS counters in its heads of argument that what was payable on the investment by Lobtrans is covered in one of the clauses of the agreement. BURS argues that Lobtrans was obligated to repay the loan monthly, whereby the payable amount was determined by “adding eight basis points to the obtaining ZAR/BWP corporate rate of First National Bank Botswana Limited quoted on the first Wednesday of the month.” It is further argued that a closer and a careful examination of the shaping of the repayment obligation shows that MCB was expected to make a return on the financial advancement made to Lobtrans.

“The fixed rate of return in the agreement is consistent with being a conscious investment decision and is inconsistent with being a simple forward cover contract. This shows that Lobtrans was under the obligation to pay cost plus. The rate fixed is a non-arm’s length one which the Appellant (MCB) could not obtain from bankers under the normal forward cover arrangements. Consistent with funding Lobtrans, which needed additional working capital, an inflated rate was set.” MCB is represented by Senior Counsel John Peter while BURS was represented by Kealeboga Tshane. Judgement will be delivered next month (February).

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Government has raked in close to P300 million from beers drinkers who seem unmoved by the introduction of the Alcohol Levy, which has made drinking beer highly discretionary due to its prohibitively high price. The Levy was introduced in 2008 to among others curb alcohol abuse.

The latest information on the contribution of the Levy towards government coffers is contained in the recent Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) for the year to March 2015. According to the report, P298, 731 million was collected under the Levy on alcohol beverages fund order during the 2014/15 financial year. During the period under review, Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) collected P475.4 million in levies and others on behalf of government departments and agencies. BURS Commissioner General Ken Morris says most of the collections were raised from the Alcohol Levy, which contributed 62.8 percent, an increase from P245, 691 during the previous financial year.

The money is collected by BURS, routed through the Accountant General, who then disburses the funds to respective beneficiaries in the proportions stated above. The Road Transport Permit fees followed at 22.4 percent while other levies each contributed less than 10 percent of total collections. Atleast 587 detentions and 551 seizures were made. Goods detained during the year under review were mainly assorted clothing materials, anointing water, radios, cigarettes and tobacco leaves, agricultural products, books, fishing nets, blankets and various food items and kitchenware products.

The main reasons for seizing goods were because of non-declaration, failure to produce proper clearance documents, failure to produce original goods invoices, abandoned goods and ex-detentions.  According to Morris the main focus during the 2014/15 financial year was on the procurement of an electronic document and records management system for improving efficiency in the timely retrieval of records and information for decision making. He says the business case for the procurement of the system has been approved and the tender will be floated during the next financial year. The system, which is estimated to cost P13, 5 million will be installed in phases during the 2015/15 and 2016/17 financial years.

He says that BURS still experience a lack of proper office space, accommodation, and infrastructure at some of the service centres, regional officers and border posts. “There are also administrative and logistical problems relating to issues of maintenance of the border post facilities,” he says. Meanwhile, there was a reduction of 28 percent on the old arrears.

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Three years after Cabinet passed the bill to abolish Value Added Tax on property for first time buyers, the provision has to this day not been implemented.The issue was later highlighted in the 2013/14 budget speech by finance and development planning minister, Kenneth Matambo.

Why has the provision not been implemented? The budget was passed and the legislators now have to give feedback on the progress to their electorates, what do they say now? What do we say to the younger population that is still struggling to own properties? Was this not discussed before the budget and bills were passed? These are some of the questions that Botswana Unified Revenue Service, Commissioner General, Keneilwe Morris had to face this Tuesday when parliament’s committee on statutory bodies, led by Moyo Guma grilled him.

Morris however indicated that the Ministry’s stance was that it was not going to be easy to administer the provision nationally. Further in an inquiry by BG, Morris indicated that when it was later discussed, it was realised that it is more complex than imagined. “How do you determine the first time home owner? There will be a first time home owner who will go buy from BHC and that who has his own plot and buys his own building material,” he said. He indicated that queries that popped up were how to establish that an individual has bought material from a VAT registered party. “How do you monitor the supply? You who buy from a registered VAT person will only benefit,” he added.

He stated that this is a matter that affects other stakeholders such as the finance ministry and lands and housing ministry. “Our technical advice as BURS was that let us work on it so that ultimately those deserving are benefiting from their entitlement. We don’t decide who should be exempted and not. If you come up with a policy like this there are potential implications,” he said. The discussions as a result have led to the delay of the provision to be implemented.

Published in News
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:49

BURS lock out striking employees

The indefinite strike at Botswana Unified Revenue Services has now descended into an all-out war between the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) and the tax agency. After BOPEU changed its tactics on the strike to make the employer feel its effects, BURS has now resorted to serving the striking employees the same medicine. This has forced BOPEU to approach the Industrial Court for intervention as a matter of urgency.

The case has been set for next week Tuesday for arguments. BOPEU changed the tactics a fortnight ago after the 14 days of strike elapsed. A new agreement on how the strike will continue has been agreed between BOPEU and BURS management in terms of Section 39 of the Trade Dispute Act. BOPEU was represented by Andrew Motsamai while BURS was represented by Commissioner General Keneilwe Morris. BURS employees who are BOPEU members will engage in a go slow followed by a sit in and a work to rule approach every day and there will be a total withdraw of labour twice a month and the strike will still be indefinite.

The strategy according to BOPEU was to ensure that the employer cannot replace labour because under the labour law if employees go on strike for more than 14 days, the employer can replace labour. Following this BURS then issued binding forms to those who wish to return to work. The employer would later lock out the employees. A letter from BURS Director of Human Resources Ms Pelaleo informs those wishing to voluntarily return to work to sign a form with the undertaking; “I confirm that I wish to voluntarily approach management with a view to return to work.

I accept that BURS will only allow me back to under the following conditions, that; I shall not be seen in any manner to be participating in a go slow during working hours; my access to BURS facilities shall be reinstated; I shall not interfere with the security of BURS facilities either electronically or others; the BURS General Conditions of Service shall continue to apply to me and I advise that I understand the above conditions and accept to be bound by them in full.”The BOPEU attorneys in a letter dated August 5th 2015 said the contents of the letter are unlawful as BOPEU has on many past occasions implored BURS management not to deal directly with the union members. BOPEU argues in its court papers that the decision by BURS to require written undertaking from employees is unlawful and invalid. The union also states that the lock out notice is untoward and unlawful. The union wants these decisions to be declared unlawful and nullified by the court. However BURS Commissioner General, Keneilwe Morris says the written undertaking by the employees is lawful, valid and enforceable in this circumstance. Morris stated in court papers that there is nothing untoward with the timing of the issuing of the lock out notice.

Morris says BURS is entitled by operation of law to opt for a lock out provided that such lock out is in accordance with the provision of the Trade Dispute Act. “The respondent has now exercised its rights under the Act by issuing the appropriate notice. Such notice meets all the requirements of Section 39. Nothing in the Act requires any justification or reason for an employer to resort to a lock out provided that a dispute which was subject to a mediation process in terms of Section 39 could not be resolved in terms thereof and a certificate issued by the mediator to that effect. Once the above is satisfied and other requirements of the section are met, then BURS was entitled to issue the notice”, states the Commissioner General.Morris further denied that the alleged dispute between BURS and BOPEU has any impact in the BURS’ ability or right to issue a lock out notice.

He said neither do the Strike Rules prevent the issuing of the lock out notice provided, “It satisfied the requirements of the Act, which I submit it did. The Dispute which led to the issuing of the certificate by the mediator is one of interest and once that is established, then the respondent is entitled to pursue a lock out subject to satisfying other requirements set out in section 39”. BOPEU has since met with the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) on the salary negotiation deadlock. UDC has since called on government to listen to the employees to agree on an amicable solution. BDP allegedly approached President Ian Khama for intervention but this was dismissed by BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, in an interview with Botswana Guardian.

Ntuane said the BDP Labour Committee met with both BOPEU and BURS last week. “We are going to meet BOPEU again because it is an ongoing process. It is not true that we were turned down by President Khama on the issue let alone met him. We are trying to organise a meeting with BOPEU again and until we have concluded the matter we cannot divulge what was discussed with the concerned parties because the issue is still confidential,” said Ntuane. BURS employees engaged in an industrial action late last month after BOPEU and the employer reached a deadlock in their salary increment negotiations. BOPEU has proposed an 11 percent increment while BURS stays unmoved at 6 percent. The employer has reiterated that it is aligning its increment with that of the rest of the public service. The Parastatal has been established to asses and collect taxes on behalf of government.

Published in News

The Secretary General of Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU), Tobokani Rari has said that their affiliate member- BOPEU- did not inform them about the ongoing strike at the tax agency.

This comes after salary negotiations between Botswana Public Employee Union and Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) reached a deadlock last month.BOPEU has proposed an 11 percent increment while BURS stays unmoved at six percent. Rari said BOPEU only invited the affiliates of the federation to show support and solidarity with them. “They only wrote to every union but no official communication to us as the federation,” he said adding that even though they were not officially told about the strike they rally behind members of BOPEU. Rari was addressing a BOFEPUSU press conference.

Last week BOPEU agreed with employees to apply a go slow tactic following the elapse of 14 days strike. Meanwhile a letter in possession of BG News, which was addressed to Rari, dated 27th July 2015, reads, “Kindly be informed that the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) is currently engaged in Strike action at the BURS. This followed the collapse of Salary and Allowances Adjustment, which reached a deadlock on July 02, 2015. The strike commenced on the 23rd July 2015.”  The letter also informed the federation that they need their support.

“The matter went through mediation which failed to deliver results, leading to the issue of a certificate of failure to settle. The strike has been declared as legal and will be taking place on selected two days every week, indefinitely. Strike rules were agreed and the parties failed to agree on the minimum service, declaring it a full withdrawal of service strike,” states the letter.

Ever since BOPEU started their strike last month only two unions, Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and Botswana Landboard and Local Authorities Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) have issued solidarity messages. Reached for comment, BOPEU General Secretary, Topias Marenga said it was surprising that the federation is denying receiving an invitation from them. “We wrote the letter the same day we invited other unions for solidarity support. They chose not to respond to it,” he said adding that during this week they got an invitation from the federation to update them on the ongoing strike. “We are yet to meet as the leadership to see what we can do because the invitation has arrived at a time when we were currently engaged with other union duties. We have a workshop for all negotiators but we will see what to do about their invitation,” explained Marenga.

Last month BOPEU and National Amalgamated Central, Locasl and Parastatal Manual Workers Union (NACLPMWU) engaged in a bitter exchange of words regarding representing employees at BURS. BOPEU claimed that it is being given a fresh mandate to negotiate for the employees after they (employees) rejected a six percent increment agreed between NACLPMWU and BURS management. NACLPMWU refuted the utterances, saying that the six percent salary increase that was agreed was meant to cushion the BURS employees while awaiting the report on the salary structure exercise at BURS to be concluded.  The salary structure is expected to be complete in October following a meeting last week on Friday between BURS management and NACLPMWU officials.

Published in News

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) moved swiftly this week to restrain the tax agency’s management from coercing their members on an indefinite strike over salary increase to return to work. BOPEU president Andrew Motsamai told journalists on Wednesday that they have instructed Ramalepa Attorneys to write to BURS regarding a form that is being circulated among their members to return to work.

The letter penned by BURS Director of Human Resources Ms Pelaleo and passed to Botswana Guardian advises those wishing to voluntarily return to work to sign a form with this undertaking: “I confirm that I wish to voluntarily approach management with a view to return to work.”  It then catalogues the conditions under which BURS may accept back the member; that, “I shall not be seen in any manner to be participating in a go-slow during working hours; I shall not interfere with the security of BURS facilities either electronically or others; the BURS General Conditions of Service shall continue to apply to me and I advise that I understand the above conditions and accept to be bound by them in full”, reads the form dated the 31st of July 2015.

The BOPEU attorneys wrote back on August 5th 2015 complaining that the contents of the letter are unlawful as BOPEU has on past occasions implored BURS management not to deal directly with the union members. “Our client is worried that despite such pleas, BURS continues to act in clear disregard of both the law and the Collective Labour Agreement signed by the parties,” they wrote. They continued that BURS Management has no right to influence union members to act against decisions of the union and threatened to approach the court ‘on urgency’ should BURS management forge ahead with the “letter herein spoken of.” Botswana Guardian was informed by BOPEU officials that communication was received from BURS at press time, however the Communications Manager Refilwe Moonwa could not be reached as she was said to be in a meeting.

BOPEU president has accused Finance and Development Planning minister Kenneth Matambo of misleading Parliament last week when he said everything was under control.Motsamai said it is unfortunate to see government continuing its denials without proper information. He said this is a clear indication of undermining Batswana and public servants.

Published in News
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