Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Government rejects providing gratuities, medical aid to Headmen of Arbitration

The Ministry of Local Government has rejected a motion that sought the government to provide medical aid cover and gratuities for Headman of Arbitration.

The Ministry rejected the motion amid fears that the move could see more than  1,641 Headman of Arbitration countrywide who are paid allowances becoming Permanent and Pensionable if  Ntlo ya Dikgosi passes the motion.

On Monday morning, assistant Minister Botlogile Tshireletso┬árejected Maun Region Kgosi Kegaisamang Ramokwena’s motion requesting government to provide gratuity every five years and medical aid cover for Headmen of Arbitration.

In rejecting the motion, Tshireletso stated that the government only provides gratuities and medical aid cover to permanent and pensionable public servants.

┬áShe stated that, at the moment, the government was not in a position to provide such to the Headmen of Arbitration, adding that the provision of the medical aid cover and gratuities would come as a strain on the Ministry’s budget.

Tshireletso pointed out that on an annual basis, the medical aid cover and gratuities will cost the government upwards of P56 million with expectations that the money will increase on a yearly basis.

She said that the government has a large number of unpaid Headmen of Arbitration countrywide, adding that the request was not going to materialise because the Headmen of Arbitration were given allowances as part of their remuneration.

Ramokwena stated that though Headmen of Arbitration were not permanent and Pensionable, the government could deduct from their allowances. He explained that the deductions could go towards their gratuities and medical aid and added that the government should help the Headmen of Arbitration to save the money because most of them become destitute after retiring from their jobs.

Ramokwena was worried that most of the Headmen of Arbitration had no medical aid making it difficult for them to approach private hospitals.

North East Region Kgosi Maruje Masunga also stressed the need for medical aid and gratuities for Headmen of Arbitration.

He  emphasised  the need to bring the private sector on board in an endeavour to pave the way for a better retirement package for Headmen of Arbitration.

Masunga further stated that if private companies are given the opportunity to cater for the Headman of Arbitration, this would be a good move towards supporting the private sector.  

Other Dikgosi also supported Ramokwena’s idea, stating that the development will help most of Batswana who are not used to saving money for their retirement.

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