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Half quit Tirelo Setshaba

Almost half of the participants of the Botswana National Service Programme (BNSP) formerly called Tirelo Setshaba have quit.

This has raised concerns to Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture because the participants quit hardly two months into the service.

Briefing members of Ntlo YA Dikgosi on June 18, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary (policy implementation) Dr Bontle Mbongwe explained that the number of participants now stood at 9 800 out of the 15 000 that enrolled at the beginning of the programme in April this year.

She said participants continued to exit the programme at any time without notice saying some of those who had quit opted for temporary jobs. Some of them, she said, had opted to work for shorter hours as per the Ipelegeng programme whilst others were engaged on short-term casual jobs such as the just ended election registration.

Dr Mbongwe explained that the policy required that a participant had to give a three months’ notice of service before leaving the programme as required by the policy.

She explained that participants received a monthly allowance of P700, of which P500 was directly distributed to their account while the remaining P200 was reserved for savings, but Dr Mbongwe did not attribute this small allowance to their exit.

On other issues, Dr Mbongwe explained that all pregnant Tirelo Sechaba participants were not entitled to 85 days maternity leave pay.

She said unlike their female counterparts, who were on permanent and pensionable conditions, all female Tirelo Sechaba participants who get pregnant during their service will go for maternity leave but without pay.

However, she said the participants were entitled to ordinary leave, because they earned one day per month, translating to 12 days per annum.

She also said the participants were entitled to sick leaves payable for a period of only 10 days, adding that participants were also eligible to benefit from accrued leave days after three months of continuous service.

The policy provided that they work only eight hours and were entitled to overtime pay if they went beyond their normal working hours provided such an arrangement had been authorised prior to engagement.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of the 50th Independence Anniversary, Ms Dineo Phuthi informed members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that preparations are going well to ensure that the celebrations are a success on September 30, 2016.

She explained that the countdown to 2016 is a nationwide phenomenon that calls for self-introspection as a nation, adding that there is need to reflect on Botswana’s achievements in the implementation of the Vision 2016 pillars.

“Therefore, all stakeholders need to take stock of their achievements, challenges and come up with interventions,” she added.

Some of the on-going 2014 countdown activities include the hoisting of the Botswana flags on towers, launch of the 50th Anniversary Logo, Launch of Botswana 50th logo brand manual and theme song, printing, promotion and publicity, public discussions on radio, television and press, traditional choral festival, launch of district festivals, cuisine festival, traditional games as well as festival storytelling and photography, to mention a few, she said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : GABORONE

Event : Ntlo Ya Dikgosi briefing

Date : Jun 19 Thu,2014

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