Pursues informal sector to be its affiliate
Informal sector buoyant, okays proposal
COVID-19 paralyzed local informal sector
Private sector lobby body, Business Botswana is pursuing the informal sector to come on board and be part of Business Botswana so that the sector can also benefit from being affiliated to BB.
Business Botswana Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Norman Moleele said that negotiations are ongoing between them and the informal sector representative associations to be BB members.
He noted sector plays important role in economic development of the country hence it needs support buttressing that Business Botswana is committed to supporting the sector to blossom.
According to him, Business Botswana’s five year strategy of 2018 -2023 also covers the sector.
“The informal sector has been hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic. We have identified areas under which will assist the informal sector once it becomes the member of Business Botswana. The consultations have begun with the sector and it is showing commitment to member,” he said.
Moleele acknowledged that the business environment for private sector development locally is quite challenging hence it calls for collaborative efforts by business to achieve a positive growth.
So, he stressed that the informal sector plays pivotal role in the economy hence its inclusion too.
Business Botswana says that it is in discussions with informal sector body of Thusanang Bagwebi.
In an interview, Thusanang Bagwebi association Botsweletse Mogabala said the informal sector incorporation into Business Botswana is a step in the right direction to boost the sector growth.
“Business Botswana indicated to us that if we join, we would be able to connect with the big businesses that we buy and inject money into them on daily basis. The informal sector has not been recognized as the important contributor in the economy. We hopeful for change,” he said.
Mogabala also said that the Covid-19 containment measures such as curfews destabilized their business but commended government for adjusting curfew to 10 pm saying it will be helpful.
Study by ITUC Africa on the impact of Covid-19 in Botswana has shown that the pandemic had a devastating effects on the country’s economy putting the informal sector under a serious strain.
“Informal workers and those in vulnerable employment need greater protections.Botswana is grappling with how to ensure better targeting of the informal sector and other vulnerable groups including women, people with disabilities, elderly and migrants workers,” the study buttressed.
Business Botswana President Gobusamang Keebine said economy has been hit hard by Covid-19.
Keebine noted that the hiccups experienced on vaccine rollout will deepen further economic woes.
Moleele said that they know and acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global economy and Botswana was or rather is negatively affected as economy contracted deeply.
“As the voice of the private sector, we are not quiet, we have been engaging all stakeholders particularly government on the pandemic and revival of the economy. We continue to engage government on plastic levy fees to Advocate for a plastics levy that balances conservation with affordability especially low-income earners,” he said cautioning that VAT hike will affect the consumers.
He also said that Business Botswana is part of the tripartite structure reviewing the labour laws.