As at April 2009, the hourly statutory minimum wage (SMW) for full-time labour in Botswana is:
- For manufacturing; hotels and restaurants; garage and road transport; wholesale and retail distributing trades, and security services: Pula 3.80.
- For retail trade (groceries): Pula 3.30.
- For other retail and for wholesale night watchmen: Pula 3.20.
- For the domestic service sector: Pula 2.10.
- Workers in the agricultural sector are entitled to be paid Pula 408 per month (which, based on 45 working hours per week, is equivalent to Pula 2.10 per hour. However, the cost of feeding a worker living on the employer’s premises can be deducted).
Note: It is debatable whether the minimum hourly wage can provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family. The annual upratings of the SMW have been lagging behind inflation. From July 2000 to April 2008, the main SMW rate increased from Pula 2.05 to Pula 3.80 hourly, or by 85%. At the same time, the costs of living index witnessed an increase of 96%, and the index for food prices alone rose by over 107% (ILO Laborsta).
Whereas statutory minimum wages for urban workers are between Pula 400 and 560 per month, in 2008 the food basket in most urban areas was already well over Pula 2,000 (FES 2008, 14). By 2010, this has obviously risen further.