Monday, August 15, 2022

BR employees worried over job losses as parastatal restructures

Botswana Railways has admitted that it is undergoing a restructuring exercise that may see the parastatal increasing or reducing its workforce.

The Public Relations Officer of the Mahalapye-based railways outfit, Onkgopotse Moreri, told Sunday Standard that the exercise is being undertaken in order to come up with an effective organisational structure and not necessarily to retrench staff.

“We did not set out with the aim of retrenching staff but to improve the performance of the parastatal,” Moreri said.

She was, however, not able to say when the exercise will end or when employees will be informed on whether or not they are going to be retrenched.

The uncertainty has led to low morale at the parastatal as the workers are worried about their future. Insiders say employees are not working as hard as they should as they do not know what the future holds for them.

“You honestly cannot expect people to work hard when they do not know whether they have a future with the parastatal or not. We do not have morale to work because of the impending retrenchment,” said one of the concerned staff members.

On the other hand, Moreri confirmed that they have suspended some of their employees in connection with police investigations.

She declined to say how many workers have been suspended and to say what they are alleged to have stolen, saying investigations are still continuing.

However, sources say that four employees are currently on suspension after it was discovered that they had stolen some materials used to make the railway line.

The material, the sources said, were afterwards found on some farms around Lobatse having been used to make kraals for cattle.

They further said some of the materials were found in faraway places, such as Mmadinare and Jwaneng cattle posts, having been used to make cattle kraals as well.

Asked if there have been such cases in the past, Moreri admitted, saying, “We have 839 employees; this happens from time to time.”

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