Business Botswana Confronts Govt Over GABS Issues


  • Suppliers owed billions because issues go back a long way
  • President made aware of GABS problems 
  • Businesses in cashflow problems due to delayed payments


Business Botswana (BB) is currently in discussions with the Ministry of Finance to resolve the challenges posed by the Government Accounting and Budget Systems (GABS).

A leaked memo dated 10 June, 2024 addressed to BB members that The Botswana Gazette has obtained confirms that, “Business Botswana is engaged with the Ministry of Finance to address and resolve the issues many of you have been experiencing with GABS”.

Although specific details of these engagements have not been made public, sources say the GABS issue is a major topic within the cabinet.

A serious crisis 

Numerous complaints of problems dating back to August 2023 have reportedly reached President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

In March, the Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, acknowledged before Parliament that the government is facing a serious crisis due to inefficiencies in its payment systems.

She disclosed that suppliers are owed more than P1.5 billion because of the systems’ failures.

Annual tax certificates

“The system became excessively slow to the point that it failed to process normal operational requests, such as travel requests, creation of Government Purchase Orders, processing of payment vouchers, and general updating of the accounts payable modules,” she said.

“Technically, the system consumed so much processing power that users could barely transact. These challenges have severely affected financial transactions, especially payments to suppliers of goods and services, and the printing of annual tax certificates.”

Minister Serame, along with the Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Thulagano Segokgo, stated that the government had initiated an overhaul of the problematic system by acquiring advanced equipment but the issues persist.

Glacial pace

Meanwhile, a member of BB who asked to remain anonymous has told The Gazette: “As a business owner, the inefficiencies of the GABS system have had a devastating impact on my operations.

“Delayed payments have strained my cash flow to the point where I have had to lay off employees and halt expansion plans.

“The government’s promise of resolving these issues seems to be moving at a glacial pace while many of us are struggling to keep our businesses afloat.

“It is critical that these problems are addressed urgently to restore confidence and stability in our commercial activities.”