Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jobs on the line as BPC CEO hints at restructuring

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Power Corporation, Dr Stephan Schwarzfischer has hinted at possible job losses at the country’s power utility company. Although details are still a bit sketchy, information gathered by this publication indicates that the move was necessitated by government’s decision to sell the country’s biggest power plant ÔÇô Morupule B.

In a statement that also confirmed the sale of Morupule B, Dr Stephan Schwarzfischer said that the transaction is likely to have an impact on BPC headcount. 

“Details on the actual impact on staff will follow as information on the transaction become clearer,” read part of the letter written to BPC staff by Schwarzfischer last week. 

Schwarzfischer was appointed the BPC CEO last month as part of the new transformation strategy that has been launched to turn around the business operations of the troubled power utility company. 

In May this year, the Secretary General of Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWN), Bahithetswe Lentswe, said the union is aware of some jobs that have become obsolete or outsourced due to technological changes. Owing to the said developments, Lentswe confirmed that sometime in mid-2014 BPC informed the union of the possibility of employees being retrenched or some jobs becoming redundant.

“The union is of the view that job losses should be avoided at all cost. Some of the workers should be redeployed,” he said.

Lentswe suggests that those who are trainable should be re-trained and be redeployed and those who are nearing their retirement could be given early retirement packages. He further confirmed that the process will definitely lead to job losses, but urged the process to be managed well.

Lentswe stated that since the restructuring exercise began, workers affected, or who may be affected have been traumatised as no one knows when the actual retrenchment will commence. Amongst other things, he also added that the whole process is frustrating employees as those who “may be affected” are denied the opportunity to take loans from the banks.

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