Under the planning and execution of the Central Executive Committee , and the wonderful contribution of Management, BLLAHWU held a successful 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday 8th October 2022 in Gaborone, Ditshupo hall, under the theme “50 Years of Militancy and Radicalism for Workers’ Welfare”.
The organisation was formed in 1972 as Botswana Local Authorities Workers Union (BLAWU), and transformed in 1974 to Botswana Unified Local Government Service Union (BULGASA). Following changes to labour laws that allowed for unionisation in 2007, the association transformed into a trade union known as Botswana Land Boards and Local Authorities Workers Union(BLLAWU). In 2010, following the relocation of primary health care services from Local Government to the Ministry of Health, the trade union transformed into Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU).
The 50th anniversary celebration was graced by domestic and international Trade Union leaders, BLLAHWU veterans, Leadership of BLLAHWU branches and members of the trade union, Ambassadors, Employer representatives, and other stakeholders of BLLAHWU. The trade union veterans were bestowed with Awards in recognition of their distinguished service to the labour movement. The veterans, domestic and international Trade Unions also gave messages of solidarity wishing the leadership and members of BLLAHWU well in the 50th anniversary, noting that it is a great milestone worth celebrating.
The Secretary General of BLLAHWU, Cde Ketlhalefile Motshegwa described the trade union as a militant, radical and class-conscious movement rooted on socialist principles, which subscribe to and practically promote the notion that workers and Trade Unions have a role to play in socio-economic sphere of the country as creators of wealth. He said BLLAHWU advocates for labour laws and policies that promote decent work and welfare of workers, and remains devoted to protect, advance and deepen workers rights.
Welcoming guests to the celebrations, the President of BLLAHWU Cde Thatayaone Kesebonye said the trade union has a track record of militancy on workers issues and that it is something that must be nurtured going forward. He urged members to be focused and united in forging ahead towards another milestone.
The Guest Speaker was the distinguished and well accomplished Honourable Justice Professor Oagile B.K. Dingake. Prof Dingake outlined that principles that BLLAHWU is committed to are the anti-thesis of free market or neo-liberal economic policies. He said the free-market economy is often characterized by perennial crisis, and that the crisis of free market economies is built into the system itself. He further said that the system is always bound to run into crisis for the simple reason that it is a contradictory system, that is based on unequal consumption of goods and services produced by
labour, as it is a system fuelled by greed and exploitation of labour. He called on workers to unite to advance their course.
The 50th Anniversary Celebrations were held jointly alongside BLLAHWU Cultural night, spiced with scintillating performances from BLLAHWU traditional dance troupe, Mmaausi, Maxy Khoisan “Mmagauta” and Ditiro Leero. Guests and invited dignitaries enjoyed traditional and local cuisine served on the night, before they danced the night away in style to celebrate 50 Years of Militancy and Radicalism for Workers’ Welfare.