Government has decided to freeze new recruitments of public employees for the years 2013/2014, The Telegraph has learnt. It is understood that the measure is part of government’s effort to control growing public service and contain the soaring public service wage bill.
While he assured existing public servants that those who deserve promotion based on performance would get them, the Director of the Directorate of Public Service Management, Carter Morupisi, said the government will only consider new recruitments where they are critically needed.
“For instance, there will be new posts for new schools or hospitals. It has been a long standing decision by the government not to expand the public service. Those who perform well will get a notch and promotion,” he said, adding that the decision was taken long time ago.
Morupisi revealed that since the country’s public service came under the spotlight, the government will only replace vacant posts. He added that should the government keep on recruiting new recruits this could result in the country’s public┬áwage bill┬ánot being sustainable.
“We cannot also keep on increasing the public service when we have learnt that it is already big. We may end up not being able to pay the employees or risk paying unsustainable high wages,” said Morupisi.
The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwarakgole, said he was not aware that government had decided to freeze new recruitments across the public service.
“I only know about the freeze on industrial workers. But if it’s across the public service then it’s news to me,” he said.
Botswana has been under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had advised the country to downsize its public service.
A team from the IMF, which visited Botswana recently, revealed in its reports that the overriding fiscal policy challenge for Botswana is to reduce the size of the government (as a share of GDP) at a time when unions are viewing further job cuts with a lot of suspicion.
“Bolder measures are required to achieve the targeted reduction in the wage bill. Such measures include streamlining the system of non-wage payments, rationalizing, the size and structure of government, tightening the link between pay and performance, strengthening payroll systems, and revising the wage scale,” states the report IMF.