Sunday, November 1, 2020

The plight of Botswana’s civil servants in the world of finance

The Government has no control over debt contract by civil servants in their private capacities just like all other citizens when they borrow money from commercial banks and other financial institutions, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Kenneth Matambo has reminded Parliament.

Matambo made the remarks while responding to Member of Parliament for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa who said he was concerned about the plight of the civil service that is wallowing in poverty as a result of high indebtness.

Shortly thereafter, Matambo went on to call on the civil servants to avoid living beyond their means.  He said on its part, the government will roll out the Financial Inclusion Strategy and Roadmap that is expected to run from 2015 to 2021.

“One of the priority are of this strategy is consumer protection and empowerment. Under this priority there is a detailed Implementation Plan which covers among others financial literacy undertaken by financial institutions,” Matambo said.

He added that the link between civil servant’s low wages and unfavourable economic conditions on one hand and high levels of debt on the other has not been established by any empirical evidence, the government has said.

A few years ago, a Government Employees Motor Vehicle and Residential Property Scheme Guaranteed Advanced Scheme guarantees housing and motor vehicle loans for civil servants with a view to promoting home ownership and providing a means of transport was kick started. It appears the civil servants lean so much for on latter as hinted by the Minister.

As at the end of September 2017 total balances at commercial banks stood at P988.5m and P251.1m for housing and motor vehicle loans respectively.

“The loans under the GEMVAS scheme have empowered civil servants to own property and have a decent mode of transport”.

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