business

Aug. 6, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

3 min read

Basotho to get job preference over foreigners

Basotho to get job preference over foreigners

The new Vodacom Lesotho boss, Mohale Ralebitso

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THE Minister of Labour and Employment, Moshe Leoma says plans are underway to initiate a campaign that will ensure that high profile positions in the country are filled by qualified Basotho before engaging any expatriates.

He said most major local companies are being led by foreigners, adding therefore that where there are Basotho with similar qualifications, they should be given first preference for such jobs.

This, the minister said on Thursday after his meeting with the Vodacom Lesotho’s top management earlier that day.

Mr Leoma said the employment of a Mosotho as the Managing Director of a company of that magnitude, signals a big achievement for the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

On June 1, the Vodacom Group appointed Mohale Ralebitso as the new MD of Vodacom Lesotho.

Mr Ralebitso took over the reins from Philip Amoateng who is from Ghana.

Mr Leoma said the labour ministry will not renew any work permit for an expatriate worker if there are Basotho who are in possession of credentials that allow them to perform the same duties that are being performed by such foreigners.

Through the initiative, he said the government is working towards reducing the unemployment rate of 26.8 percent in the country, adding that most of the unemployed people are youth, who are highly qualified.  

The government’s current motto, he said is “Mosotho pele” (Mosotho first), adding that in whatever happens in Lesotho, the government must prioritise serving its people.  

He said the ministry is currently making surprise visits to local companies under a campaign called ‘Operation Thoso’.

Under this operation, personnel from the ministry pay random visits to companies to establish whether or not such companies have engaged foreign workers legally, among others.

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The team from the ministry, Mr Leoma said has already visited Butha-Buthe, Mohale’s Hoek, the Polihali Dam, Maputsoe and the St Joseph’s Hospital in Roma, singling out the latter where they found five foreign doctors who were engaged without work permits.

“At the Polihali Dam, we learned that expatriate workers heard about our surprise visit in advance and they disappeared before our arrival,” he said.

He added: “This makes our job a lot more difficult because we face a huge task of convincing and attracting investors to Lesotho, in order to create more jobs for Basotho. But we will do our best to ensure that we create the much needed jobs for Lesotho and its people.”

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