Last week, during the launch and commemoration of the Botswana Unified and Revenue Standards (BURS) Wellness Day in Francistown, the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Keletso Rakhudu, probed the organization to continue and take the wellness of employees seriously because productivity coincided with the wellness of employees.
“BURS collects revenue for the government of Botswana, and therefore for it to achieve its annual revenue target, it needs a healthy workforce that is physically and mentally alert to ensure that only legitimate goods and people are allowed to cross the border in and out of Botswana.”
Rakhudu said that a healthy workforce would ensure that correct measures and assessments were done and the tax revenue collected from the taxpayers on time, minimizing errors and customer complaints.
He applauded BURS management for coming with an initiative of realizing that the health of employees was of utmost importance in the organization and its productivity by officially launching such a day in different regions.
“This is indeed commendable, taking into consideration the challenges brought about by the geographic locations spread of BURS offices,” he said.
The minister went further to highlight that the establishment of BURS was a significant milestone in the government reform agenda, aimed at improving efficiency in the assessment and collection of all taxes on behalf of the Botswana government. He also explained that the government was committed in supporting BURS in every possible way. Rakhudu also commended the Board of Directors of BURS for approving the revised General Conditions of Service in April as an endeavor to improve the working conditions of staff.
He pointed out that while the effort seemed inadequate it marked a step in the right direction, particularly to counteract competition from other employers for the human resource capital.
However, Rakhudu took issue with sick leave compromises, pointing out that it denied the organization value, adding more work, which in turn, resulted in loss of productivity. He illustrated that current records projected that 392 man days were lost due to sick leave in the month of April this year and 445 man days were also lost in March this year.
“We should be concerned about the increasing absences through sick leave and map strategies to address the problem,” said Rakhudu.