Botswana’s Minimum Wage – Will it Make a Difference?
The government of Botswana has instituted a minimum wage to protect workers from extortion and low pay. The minimum wage in Botswana is W10,474 (US$9.2) per hour. The minimum wage has been in place since 1st June 2013, and its aim is to protect workers from low pay and low productivity in both the public and private sector. But will it make a difference?
It is less than P10,000 in Botswana
It is illegal to work for less than P10,000 in Botswana and to employ children for illegal purposes. This is a violation of the country’s Labour Code and a P10,000 fine or ten years in prison is levied if you do not comply with the law. In Botswana, homosexual acts are not punishable under the law. In Botswana, there are no laws prohibiting homosexual acts, but there are many social and legal restrictions on homosexuality.
There is a growing unemployed population in Botswana. According to the latest data from Statistics Botswana, seventy percent of people in the country’s formal workforce are earning less than P10,000 a month. This puts them among the poorest fifth of the income-earning population. Those in the top one percent of the income scale are not likely to be motivated to pursue higher levels of education.
The income disparity is even more staggering when you consider the fact that the formal sector is dominated by the richest people. These are typically the CEOs of major private companies, while the ordinary Batswana live on a meagre salary. The report highlights the fact that the middle class is far from the most prosperous part of the country. The report also states that unemployment rates are about 20%, which means that households with just one income earner would be among the poorest fifteen percent of the population.
It protects workers from extortion
The Anti-Corruption Act (Pt. 2) of Botswana prohibits human trafficking and the related activities of buying, soliciting, and general organization of sex work. This law limits government involvement in these crimes and is ineffective in combating sex labor. It also limits cooperation with civil society. The Interpretation (Amendment) Act is a key law that changes the legal age of majority in Botswana to 18. It also makes marriages without parental consent legal in the country.