Chinese, Indian chain shops exploit Batswana

Nicholas Mokwena
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Botlogile Tshireletso, Mahalapye East MP Botlogile Tshireletso, Mahalapye East MP

In some of these chain shops, a man is the manager and his wife is the assistant - Tshireletso

All the campsites and lodges in Ngamiland and Chobe are managed by foreigners - Kwerepe

Government through its actions seems to be promoting delocalisation - Nkaigwa

Members of Parliament have condemned government’s Localisation Policy for failing Batswana.

The MPs have indicated that there are no measures put in place to ensure that foreigners and foreign companies adhere to the requirements of the policy. MP for Mahalapye East Botlogile Tshireletso told Parliament that it is painful to see Batswana in chain shops across the country not being appointed to managerial positions by their employers. 

She said businesspeople from China and India recycle their families in businesses and only Batswana are employed at lower level.

“You will find that in some of these chain shops, a man is the manager and his wife is the assistant. Batswana you will only see them manning the shelves and doing other lower activities. These we see in Indian and Chinese shops. 

“When the manager leaves the country, another one from his country of origin is roped in to take over. You will never see a Motswana ascending to a higher post,” said Tshireletso when debating budget proposal for Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development for financial year 2018/19. Tshireletso who is also Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said government has to do something about the situation lest the policy is deemed useless to Batswana. 

MP for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa said it is worrisome to learn that government through its actions seems to be promoting delocalisation. Nkaigwa stated that most companies run by foreigners are disregarding the policy. 

The legislator said that in most instance people are employed on three months’ contract basis and such contracts are never renewed. He indicated that this makes it unachievable for the policy to work. “Even Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana for the past 8-9 years has been employing people on a three (3) months contract. 

An organisation owned by government doing that, what can we expect of those of foreigners. These people are learning from this government that workers are not treated well. 

“That is why these foreign companies even fail to localise just a changing of motor vehicle tyres. If we love this country and our people we would not be giving permits to people to do such jobs that can be done by our own,” Nkaigwa posited.  Also to condemn lack of implementation of the policy was Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Thato Kwerepe who is also MP for Ngami. Kwerepe said all the campsites and lodges in Ngamiland and Chobe are managed by foreigners. 

According to the ministers only naturalised Batswana are found in managerial positions. “As for Motswana of mine skin you will never find them in supervision positions.  “We have to emphasise on localisation when we give these people permits. Batswana are made to work dangerous jobs where they have to encounter dangerous animals. When our people leave those camps, you will mistake them for tourists because they have nothing to show,” Kwerepe said.

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