By Thoboloko Nts’onyane

MASERU –  The member of opposition had on Monday accused the government for failing to improve the welfare of factory workers.

The Democratic Congress (DC) proportional representation (PR) member Hon Hlalele Lets’aba had labeled the minimum salary as a “mockery” following the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Employment Hon Richard Ramoeletsi.

The Minister said the wages board had failed to reach consensus as workers and employees could not agree on the salary adjustment, therefore the Wages Advisory Board failed to advise him.

He said the workers had proposed a salary increment of 5 percent, a proposal that did not sit well with the workers’ representatives as they wanted 20 percent and the two failed to agree.

Following this move, Ramoeletsi engaged the experts from the Bureau of Statistics (BoS) and Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and also considered factors such as inflation rate, Russia-Ukraine ongoing war and the reports that over 9 000 Basotho have been laid off to review the salaries structure.

“I had to do the work without the board’s advice since it is my duty to publish the minimum wages,” he said.

The Labour Code Order 1992 empowers the Minister to publish the wages structure.

He said the salaries had been adjusted upwards by 6.6 percent.

Hon Lets’aba called it a “mockery” saying the Minister failed to even come closer to 8.2 percent of inflation rate.

He accused the government

“Welcome to reality” the Basotho National Party (BNP) leader charged at the government accusing it of reneging on their campaign promises prior to the October 7 general elections last year. 

He continued: “Where is the M4 000 that you promised? Where are the buses?”

According to the revised 2023/2024 salary structure, under the clothing, textile and leather manufacturing sectors a worker with less than 12 months experience will now earn M2 459.00 per month, or M568.00 per week or M113.00 per day.

Also, textile machine operator with less than 12 months experience will now walk away with M2644.00 monthly, M610.00 weekly or M122.00 daily.

The textile machine trainee is now up for M2 459.00 per month, M568.00 weekly, and M113.00 a day.