Huge gap between rich and poor
Botswana remains amongst the most unequal societies in the world, according to Selibe Phikwe West Member of Parliament (MP), Dithapelo Keorapetse.
However, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) member is adamant the establishment of a Social Justice Commission will help address the imbalance.
Contributing to Bobonong MP, Taolo Lucas’s motion calling for such a commission, Keorapetse was quick to highlight the disparity, noting, “When you look at the civil service for instance, the lowest paid earns less than P2, 500 and the highest in terms of the scales, will get around P83, 000 per month and allowances.”
Keorapetse further revealed he knows of some government employees who earn P120, 000 a month.
Describing the country’s levels of inequality as ‘unacceptable’, the MP gave the example of a retail giant whose CEO was at one point reported to receive a monthly wage of P1 million whilst ordinary workers were paid less than P1, 000 a month.
Turning his scorn on the diamond industry, Keorapetse said, “Debswana Mining Company, the lowest paid there would be paid less than P5, 000 but the highest paid is a foreigner who is paid P1.2 million per month!”
Turning the clock back to 2004, the opposition MP cited another incident to highlight inequality in the country.
“When it comes to wealth, during the time when Judge Lesetedi had a commission to investigate land allocations around Gaborone, he made an appalling discovery, that one of the naturalized citizens owned over 713 plots in Gaborone,” he said, adding that was 16 years ago and thus the individual potentially now owns over 1, 000 plots.