- 457 more companies to retrench
- Already 344 Batswana have lost jobs through retrenchment due to the effects of COVID-19
The number of Batswana who lost their jobs through retrenchment since the outbreak of COVID-19 is expected to reach over 800 after 457 companies submitted notifications of intent to retrench, the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Machana Shamukuni, has revealed.
Responding to a question from the MP for Gaborone Central, Tumisang Healy, on Monday, Shamukuni said 344 people were retrenched between April 2020 and February 2022, with an additional 457 also expected to be laid off following the recent companies’ notification.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, 344 Batswana were retrenched between April 2020 and February 2022. However, the number is expected to increase after 457 companies submitted notifications of intent to retrench to the ministry. The additional 457 number of companies also raised the effects of COVID-19 as the reason to downsize the staff.”
However, Shamukuni said that his ministry is doing everything in its power by engaging the respective companies to pursue other alternatives of cost cutting without laying off their staff.
“As much as we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted so many companies, the latter also have to find other means of minimising mass job losses just like the government did,” the minister said. “Our effort is bearing fruit because some of the companies acceded to our requests”
The Minister added that it is worth noting that the government prevented job losses by introducing programmes which include wage subsidy and the Industry Support Fund. Therefore, the private sector should follow suit. “As government, we introduced programmes that prevented job losses,” he said.
“Moreover, the government is currently introducing policies that have long-term benefits. These policies are also meant to cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.”