In Botswana, the public workers strike continues. It began on April 18 with a demand for higher pay.
No settlement with the government is in sight and the strike is now affecting medical care. Earlier this week, the government fired many striking essential health workers, saying they had violated a court order to return to their jobs.
Thursday, 300 medical staffers had forced the closure of the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, the country’s largest. Its workers had gone on a sympathy strike to show support for public employees.
The strike has affected all public services, which in turn has hindered private sector businesses relying on those services. These include getting documents or permits approved.
The strike is expected to hurt the country’s overall economy, which is already suffering from a sharp decline in diamond sales due to the global recession. Strikes are rare in Botswana, a country viewed as very stable.
To listen to Joe De Capua's debriefer with reporter Delia Robertson in Johannesburg about the Botswana strike, click the link below.