Bots tightens screws on potential investors

Gaborone – Botswana plans to tighten screws on potential investors by introducing stringent requirements for setting up business in the country.

The Labour and Home Affairs, Minister Edwin Batshu, has warned potential investors that having enough money and desire to set up business in the country is not a guarantee that they will be issued with work and residence permits. 

“The desire to set up an investment is not the only requirement for one to be issued a work and residence permit,” he said during a recent business seminar in Gaborone.

He added that applicants are assessed through a number of criteria and new applicants should score at least 60 percent to qualify while renewals are required to score a minimum 50 percent.

Despite this assessment, a pass rate does not provide automatic granting of work and residence permits, he added.

In the interest and security of Botswana and its citizens, Batshu emphasised that there are other considerations to be made so that “we do not find ourselves having admitted those investors with financial muscles but being a threat to our territorial integrity and safety of the nationals as well as the economy.”

As part of effort to close out undesirable elements, the ministry have recently introduced the Point Based System (PSB), which is a systematic and standardised assessment tool used by Regional Immigrants Selection Boards to assess applications for work and residence permits.

The PBS was introduced in April 2012 and its revised version came to effect in February 2013 with a necessary pass mark from 60 percent to 75 percent. According to Batshu, proof of financial investment is therefore not sufficient enough for issuance of permits.

“There are situations where some applicants would be turned down despite having shown their potential to invest and provide work opportunities for Batswana because other conditions have not been met,” he said. Batshu who is a former police commissioner said in situations where an applicant has to appeal, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs is guided by the Immigration Act, Section 25(2).

It states that , “in determining the appeal, the minister shall regard the following factors ; Security considerations; Non availability of suitable skills in the market; Authenticity of information and documents supplied; Character of appellant; Proof of investment capital; and proof of employment offer ”. 

“I’m certain that when people understand requirements they are better placed to understand the outcome of their applications,” said Batshu.

 

 

September 2013
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