Zimbabweans and other nationals can breathe much easier after the Botswana government moved to look into the slow processing and arbitrary rejection of work and residence permits.
In a statement, Botswana Labour Minister Edwin Batshu said he wants to see applications dealt with timeously.
He said there is a backlog of pending applications and promised that the board responsible for processing applications will sit twice a week if need be to clear it.
There has been an outcry that the processing of permits takes unnecessarily long and authorities reject applications without valid reasons.
Botswana’s finance minister, Kenneth Matambo, presenting the 2017/2018 budget in Gaborone on Monday said the government continues to create an enabling environment for investors.
He promised that the issue of work permits, among others, is being looked into.
The leader of the opposition, Duma Boko, in his response to the speech, hit out at the government for claiming it was creating an enabling environment when there is arbitrary rejection of permits.
The number of permit holders is significantly down, with Zimbabwean remaining in the majority of holders at nearly 3,000, a drop from 7,000 in 2009.