Thursday, September 24, 2020

Saleshando calls for long term sustainable pension scheme

All Batswana workers may in future be assured of “life after employment” should Parliament adopt a motion by Gaborone Central MP, Dumelang Saleshando.

The Botswana Congress Party MP on Friday asked government to set up a mandatory, broad-based national pension scheme for all workers, hammered to promote that “there is life after retirement”.

Presenting the motion in parliament which calls for the government to establish a mandatory national pension scheme for all workers, Saleshando noted that “presently there is no law which compels employers to establish pension arrangement with employees”, exposing employees to deplorable and pathetic conditions after retirement.
“Employees, particularly those in the private sector, are currently subjected to gratuity or severance system benefit scheme every five years, offered arbitrarily on short term basis with nothing to provide for long term benefits. These employees are left on their own with the majority unlikely to invest on a long term basis, resulting in the employees blowing out these lumps of money to become destitutes and a burden to the government,” noted Saleshando, arguing such short term developments should be eradicated to compel people for “long term national wide pension schemes”.

Saleshando decried the high levels of short term benefits carried out in the country, especially in the private sector, saying such trend is glaringly heading for a disaster and putting the country at peril and precarious situation.

In the same vein, Saleshando is worried about the low levels of long term benefits as revealed by the local banks which reveal most households were indulging more over personal than mortgage loans.

“Statements from the banks indicate most households prefer short term consumption, which includes the purchase of vehicles. They indulge much on short term consumer spending and, like our former president Mogae said, this luxurious spending is a worrying phenomenon. Households prefer short term benefits to the detriment of long term benefits.”

Although admitting education is a long journey, the maverick MP is adamant that by playing a leading role to enlighten Batswana about the importance of long term benefits, the government would be “creating wealth and a sustainable future for Batswana”.

Saleshando said pensioners at their late ages are unproductive and, as such, should be offered tangible pensions, failure of which would cause major costs to government.

He argued that the government should wake up from its slumber and prepare for the future long term benefits for today’s productive youths while “our economy is still robust”.

“These are the highly productive forces that are productive in today’s market and will ultimately age only to encounter abject poverty. Lest they become another liability, government should come up with conspicuous long term benefits to prepare for the future.”

To ensure we do not fall prey and become a country infested by destitutes, Saleshando encouraged the government to take a leaf from countries such as the Scandinavian countries and Germany, where long term benefits have been provided and their people’s welfare satisfactory and convenient.

While the motion looked set to generate more interest across the political divide, it was, however, adjourned at the discretion of the Chief of the House and the mover owing to the fact the ministers responsible were not present.

The motions will be continued next Friday.

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