Government through the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has recognised Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) as a role player in labour relations system.
This comes after the conclusion of court cases involving the registration of BOFEPUSU as a federation of trade unions.
In 2009 Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers Organisation Lesego Pule struck the federation off the roll saying that it was registered by mistake or misrepresentation. The federation later challenged the case and last month High Court ruled in favour of the federation hence the move by government to recognise it as the second federation representing workers in Botswana.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Pearl Matome confirmed with a letter dated 18 August 2015. She said all along Botswana Federation of Trade Union (BFTU) has been regarded as the only organisation that is representing workers in the country.
“It is common cause that with the conclusion of court cases involving the registration of BOFEPUSU as a federation of trade unions, it should also be recognised as a role player in our labour relations system,” the letter addressed to BOFEPUSU reads.
BOFEPUSU secretary general Tobokani Rari said the federation is now properly registered federation in the country.
“This then means that there are now two properly registered federations in Botswana. We wrote to the Ministry on two occasions after the conclusion of our court case last month to say, ‘Now because our registration is no longer in dispute we have to be recognised as a second labour centre in the country hence the move by Ministry of Labour and home affairs to give us a status that we are now recognised as a second labour centre in the country. That is captured in their letter of 18 August 2015,’” Rari said.
This also means that BOFEPUSU now is able to sit in all tripartite structures in the country. Some of which are labour advisory board.
This is a very important advisory board because every law that is made in the country that is going to affect workers has to go through this board.
Rari said his newly recognised federation will push for the advisory board to be a board with powers and a board that can bite not a board only providing advice which could be rejected anytime.