Government has no intention to increase Ipelegeng wages because such a move will result in the program becoming attractive and competing for labor with economic sectors like agriculture. Responding to questions from opposition Members of Parliament (MP’s) last week, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane said the monthly Ipelegeng wages are only meant to cushion the unemployed from harsh economic conditions.
“We don’t want Ipelegeng to become attractive and compete with other sectors such as agriculture,” he said.
There have been concerns from some quarters that the youth were shunning manual labor in farms and construction sites in favor of Ipelegeng.
In response, Tsogwane said: “We don’t want the program to become too attractive. It’s not intended to be a permanent job,” he said.
When presenting his ministry’s budget proposal for FY 2015/16, Tsogwane said Ipelegeng wages will increase from P480 to P510 for laborers per month effective April 1st. The supervisors’ wages will increase from P560 to P590. Opposition MP’s argued that the wages were too low and will not cushion beneficiaries from the ever increasing commodity prices. A brain child of President Ian Khama, Ipelegeng has been lampooned by opposition politicians who dismissed it as a populist agenda that will not solve the problem of rising unemployment. The opposition has also called for long term practical solutions that will create full time jobs and empower the people.