Botswana’s Job Sector Records Increase In Foreign Workers

  • Number of work permit holders has increased from 5 293 to 5 898 between December 2016 and March 2017
  • Male work permit holders at 77.8% were higher than their female counterparts (22.2 %)


Latest data from Statistics Botswana shows that Botswana’s job sector recorded an increase in foreign workers during the first quarter of 2017 (Q1 2017).
According to figures released by the office last week, the number of work permit holders has increased by 11.4% between December 2016 and March 2017, from 5 293 to 5 898; most permit holders were recorded in the agricultural sector which accounted for 30%, followed by the construction sector with 15.3% and manufacturing was third with 8.8% work permit holders.
“Total work permit holders declined in the third quarter of 2016 and started to increase in the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. Between June 2016 and September 2016, total work permits holders decreased by 578 persons, from 5,491 in June 2016 to 4,913 in September 2016, a decrease of 10.5%. Between December 2016 and March 2017, total work permit holders increased by 605 persons, from 5,293 in December 2016 to 5,898 in March 2017, an increase of 11%. Comparing June 2016 with March 2017 total work permitholders increased by 407 persons, an increase of 7.4%,” said Statistician General Anna Majelantle.
The Statistician stated that out of 5 898 permit holders in March 2017, (87.1%) were employees while 763 (12.1%) were self-employed. She stated that for the self-employed work permit holders’ category, Wholesale & Retail Trade was above other industries, recording 33.4% of work permit holders, followed by Real Estate and Manufacturing with 13.5 and 11.3% respectively.
According to the statistician, male work permit holders at 77.8% were higher than their female counterparts (22.2 %). “4 407 permit holders were new employee work permits, while 728 held renewed ones and males outnumbered females for both new and renewed work permit holders. In the new work permit holder’s category, males accounted for 67.8 percent of total employee work permit holders compared to 18.1 percent for females. For the renewed work permit holders, male employees work permit holders accounted for 10.8 percent of the total employee work permit holders compared with 3.4 percent for females.”
Q2 2017 Statistics report on work permit holders in this country shows that the majority of work permit holders were from Zimbabwe at 2 794 persons (47.4 percent), followed by South Africa at 915 persons (15.5 percent,) and Indian Sub-Continent with 534 persons (9.1 percent).
The report has noted that among the employee work permit holders, 44.2 percent (2,268) had no training or had not stated if they had any training. “Degree holders accounted for 27.1 percent (1,392) of work permit holders with known training status. Diploma holders accounted for, 16.4 percent (841), while Certificate holders contributed 12.3 percent (634) of employee work permit holders.”  The report added that Engineering & related programs and Craft programs topped the work permit holders with known training status, accounting for 13.3 percent and 8.2 percent respectively. “These were followed by work permit holders with Commercial, Clerical and Business & Public Administration programs training at 7.8 percent.”
Statistics Botswana indicated that statistics on work permit holders give an indication of sectors where expatriate recruitment continues to be needed and the occupations which are mostly occupied by foreigners for purpose of monitoring progress in localization.