- Propose to have wage subsidy replaced
- Minister claims ignorance to the proposal
FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Bus Operators Association (BBOA) has reportedly proposed for its members to be paid one-third of their operational costs instead of the wage subsidy currently offered by the government in response to the economic shocks brought about by the lockdown.
The Botswana Gazette has learnt that while the government has offered 50 percent wage subsidy to businesses affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, the BBOA is rather proposing to be paid one-third of their operational costs instead.
The Association’s main argument according to those close to the development is that the 50 percent wage subsidy is only beneficial to their employees leaving the employers with nothing. “We met with the Transport and Communications Minister to discuss this issue and hopefully we will get a positive response. The wage subsidy offered by government falls short of the costs we incur,” revealed an operator.
BBOA Chairman Tirafalo Mponang confirmed the proposal in an interview with The Botswana Gazette. Mponang said they only proposed operational costs for scheduled routes as they are mostly hit by the lockdown.
“The Minister of Transport and Communications Thulaganyo Segokgo has promised to revert to us in the near future,” said Mponang.
In the meantime, Mponang said public transport operators will apply for the wage subsidy. Minister Segokgo said he could not share details when reached for comment.
He said although the Association has put forward several proposals, he does not remember all the details. “I am aware that the association has submitted several proposals but I do not have all the details. What I can assure them is that the government will pay them a wage subsidy so that they are able to retain their employees,” Segokgo said.