The Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South, Botsalo Ntuane, has urged retail shop owners to respect the country’s labour laws.
Ntuane said, to enhance productivity, the employers need to build a good working relationship with their employees.
The MP said this at the official opening of the Rail Park shopping complex, a multi-million pula mall adjacent to the Gaborone Bus Rank.
“A cause for concern which I must convey to the developers and tenants of this prestigious complex is the problem of labour relations. My office is inundated by complaints from employees at other shopping malls regarding violations of labour laws and other unacceptable conduct by employers. I urge the various stakeholders to work towards a harmonious working relationship. If the workers are happy, then productivity levels, and by extension, profits will go up,” said Ntuane.
He added that the opening of the mall is a clear testimony that Botswana remains an open and conducive environment for business.
Ntuane also advised the employees to dedicate their time to hard work.
“On the other hand, the workers must also understand that the retailers who have taken up tenancy here also expect them to deliver on the obligation of hard work, honesty and friendly customer service. This is a fine balance which I challenge both parties to get right for their mutual benefit,” he stated.
Ntuane applauded the investors at Rail Park for creating employment for over 2000 people most of whom are young Batswana.
He said that in as much as government had reviewed the minimum wage, the economic situation makes it necessary for employers to pay above the minimum wage.
“As we all know, the unrelenting rise in the cost of living, including food, rent, transport and essential utilities, must be addressed urgently. However, in as much as the minimum wage has been increased, it can never be enough to cater for the basket of needs of the average citizen. I urge employers not to hide behind the stipulated minimum wage but also consider paying over the minimum wage where they can,” Ntuane said.
He also stated that providing a living wage is what every employer should strive to do.