‘Vaccination will aid economic recovery’

‘Vaccination will aid economic recovery’

MASERU – Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro says Lesotho’s economic recovery will only happen when the nation achieves full herd immunity.
Majoro was speaking at the 15th private sector consultative forum on Thursday.
He was presenting a progress report on the removal of constraints to private sector investment.
Majoro said Lesotho has so far managed to fully vaccinate 470 000 people.
Although it is a significant number Majoro said it is woefully low compared to the desired target of 1.6 million vaccinated Basotho aged 18 years and above.

Achieving herd immunity, he said, calls for critical decisions by the private sector and the government.
“When more people get vaccinated it lowers the chances of people getting severe illness that might progress to death,” Majoro said.
“It also guarantees business that chances of going back to lockdowns are minimal and encourages investment.”
He said it is important to take measures to minimize the rate of infections in the workplace.
“We are working on introducing vaccination Mondays in other industries to assist and encourage people to vaccinate,” Majoro said.
He said he has been informed that most public officials have been vaccinated.

“People have the right not to vaccinate but they also have the responsibility to not infect others. Hence, for those who do not want, they will be asked to produce negative PCR tests every three days,” he said.
The private sector, he said, played an important role in assisting the country to acquire vaccines.
Over the past three weeks, there has been a one percent increase in infections.

“We are hoping this remains the case through the December holidays so that we can consider and contemplate new investments.”
Majoro said Lesotho is moving to improve the business registration and licensing procedures.
He said Parliament will soon discuss a Bill that will reduce the time to issue licences to a day.
He said the completion of the business registration and licencing regulations will also assist with the formalisation of the informal sector consequently improving their chances of getting access to finance.

There has also been significant progress on the issuing of construction permits. In the past it used to take months to get a construction permit but this has now been cut to six weeks.
Majoro said the majority of the issued construction permits are for commercial purposes.
Majoro said they had also recently managed to open a fresh produce market in Ha-Tikoe lifting the burden associated with marketing produce off farmers’ shoulders.
The private sector appreciated the progress but added there are still constraints they would like to see resolved.

They said they want commercial cases which have piled in the Commercial Court resolved.
They also raised concerns about the inadequate support for start-ups adding very little that is being done to encourage the private sector to embrace innovation.
Majoro said the government hopes to have completed constitutional, judicial and security sector reforms before general elections next year.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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