• Say desperation to survive is a factor in growing crime


Traditional leaders have called on the government to consider introducing a youth unemployment grant as a means of curbing increasing crime that is spurred on by a need to survive.

Kgosi Lotlaamoreng Montshiwa ll of BaRolong says there is a growing concern about crime in which people in his territory have resorted to partnering with foreigners.

There is thus a need for the government to introduce a youth grant to alleviate desperation that has been made worse by the effects of COVID-19.

“Even though criminal activities were rampant before the outbreak of COVID-19, our biggest issue has always been that our villages are near the border with South Africa and we have locals conniving with South Africans to commit crime here,” Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II said.

“We all know that many people have lost their jobs but that does not mean they should now go out there and rob people of their hard earned money and assets.”

But he acknowledged existence of government initiatives that young people can take advantage of to create employment and earn a living. The sovereign of BaRolong said he would raise the matter of youth unemployment grants with relevant authorities.

Similarly, Kgosi Malope ll of BaNgwaketse said there is need to support young people with a regular stipend but noted financial constraints faced by the government. “I believe that a youth unemployment grant would play a major role in reducing crime but that will depend on availability of funds,” Kgosi Malope II said.

“I am sure even government is aware that assisting young people financially can help reduce crime. We can only hope that they will act at some point because obviously the unemployment rate, particularly among young people, is a concern.”

He added that Ntlo ya Dikgosi has the responsibility to ensure that such issues make motions for raising in the Upper House in order to seek answers to them. “I will definitely follow it up to establish whether this is something that the government can help with,” the sovereign of BaNgwaketse noted.

Earlier this month, the government increased social relief grants by P100. Old age pensions, destitute allowances, World War 2 veterans and disabled persons were among the grants covered effective 1st April this year.

According to the latest statistics, Botswana’s unemployment rate stands at 17.7 percent with a recorded decline of 2.2 percent of the employed population. The statistics also revealed that the youth labour force decreased by 4.4 percent between quarter four 2020 and quarter four 2021 from 509 195 to 486 706.