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Salaries must align with profit- Tsogwane

04 Jun 2023

Companies should pay their employees reasonable salaries in line with profit earnings, rather than pay them peanuts on the pretext that they were in accordance with minimum wages set by government.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at Moremaoto on Friday, Boteti West MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane said companies, mostly diamond mining companies, made huge profits but failed to pay their employees reasonable salaries equivalent to their earnings.

He said companies should pay reasonably regardless of the set minimum wages.

He noted that the newly established diamond polishing company, HB Antwerp, paid its employees good salaries.

Mr Tsogwane, who is also Vice President, said Batswana should not be concerned about the ongoing discussions between DeBeers and the government.

Government, he said, strived to have the best interests of its citizens throughout the negotiations.

He stated that the aim was to ensure that Batswana benefitted  from diamond trading through diamond value chain, adding ‘diamonds are our country’s heritage’.

“We have realised that a diamond value increased massively after the polishing stage, therefore we need to ensure that we earn profits from these diamonds,” he emphasised.

MP Tsogwane indicated that a free market economy should not be an issue because De Beers was not buying, but a partner to Botswana, therefore the partnership should also apply in value addition.

He added that a free market economy required a willing buyer and a willing seller, noting that it should be based on negotiations.

“Mong wa kgomo ga a kake a nna modisa fela, we want to benefit even after the polishing stage, a re tlogeleng go rekisetsa mo lesakeng,” he said, emphasising that Batswana could not only get profit from raw diamonds.

He further said the tendency of monopoly by retailers should be addressed to allow other members of society an opportunity to benefit, adding that there should be value chain development.

Mr Tsogwane noted there were some retailers who produced vegetables and fruits whilst selling at the same time.

He said there should suppliers and retailers.

Mr Tsogwane said Boteti District had the largest concentrate of diamond mining companies in the country and therefore any developments in the sector were important to the district.

He said Botswana acquired 25 per cent in HB Antwerp, to establish HB Botswana, which would give more returns across the diamond value chain particularly in sales and marketing of diamonds.

Botswana, he said, had won the rights to host the Kimberly Process Secretariat and that a new initiative called Diamond for Hope had identified a total of 15 beneficiaries that would be trained in diamond cutting and polishing who would be absorbed after training.

For his part, the Village Development Committee Chairperson Mr Castro Molefe expressed concern that diamond mining companies in their district did not benefit them as most of the youth were unemployed.

He proposed that Construction Industry Trust Fund in Moremaoto should add mining courses to its list of courses it offered. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thandy Tebogo

Location : MOREMAOTO

Event : Kgotla meeting

Date : 04 Jun 2023