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BOPEU Kang Regional Offices Officially Opened

13 May, 2015

In an effort to improve service delivery to its members, Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) officially opened its Kang Regional Offices on the 30th April. The newly opened office is named after one of its founding fathers, ‘Peba Sethantsho’.Speaking at the official opening ceremony, BOPEU President; Andrew Motsamai said the offices were built at a tune of P1.96 million garnered through member contribution. The developments of the offices was instituted on February 2013 and completed well on time as projected. However Motsamai said they are looking to further expand the plot.

Former President of the union, known then as BCSA, Peter Siele said the opening of the offices in Kang clearly showed that in executing their mandate as union leadership, BOPEU does not only think in terms of urban development, but also have interest in members serving in the rural areas at heart. He said the achievement marks yet another milestone in the development of Botswana labor movement. “It is a milestone that represents a transition from an ordinary association to a renowned and well resourced union, with a bargaining status as enshrined in the current public service act.” Furthermore, he said the union realized that the government cannot forever extend a helping hand to unions and their general membership in the day to day running its organization.

Due to financial constraints currently bedeviling Botswana, Siele contends that it has become increasingly necessary for the unions to respond differently and show some level of commitment and determination in minimizing dependence on the government. “The union has shown some level of responsibility and maturity in the running of its own affairs,” he stated, adding that it is for this reason which will allow growth and meaningful engagement in the tripartite labor relations as provided for in the legislation. By so doing, Siele holds that BOPEU is playing a role of an employer and investor in Botswana’s economy.

BOPEU currently has offices in Maun, Francistown and are planning to open another one in Palapye, a move which Siele maintains advocates for sound decentralization system which will go a long way in assisting them to reach out to members who serve in the remote areas of Botswana. He asserts that subsequently members will feel and believe that they are really out to assist and provide them the services for which they joined the union.Siele also believes that the offices in Kang region will change the socio-economic landscape of Kang. “It is inevitable that the socio economic benefit brought by this investment will trickle down to non members of the union since a few of the local people will gain employment in the region offices,” he said.

Deputy President of BOPEU, Sikalame Seitiso said the opening of the offices assures members of BOPEU of its desire to take the organization closer to its membership. “This office shows that as a union we are not only focusing on labor issues but also plays a role in community social life” said Seitiso, noting that they see it as an employment creation venture which is expected to employ a minimum of 5 employees. “The fact that we named it after one of the founding fathers of this organization, shows clearly our appreciation for those who came before us,” he pronounced. Further, he vowed that all workers will be assisted through the recent development.Previously, BOPEU generously contributed to a life saving appeal by forking out a sum of P200 000 towards a kidney transplant for one of its members. In another development the union donated P100 000 towards the treatment of ovarian cancer known as severe teramotas.

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