- as stubborn inflation soars

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has challenged the private sector to help government fight the constant rising inflation. The perennial rise in the cost of living has seen August inflation reaching 14.6 percent, beating the December 2008 rate of 13.7 percent and far beyond central bank's monetary policy of between three and six percent.

“Government cannot fight inflation alone,” said Masisi at the 16th National Business Conference held under the theme: Roadmap to High Income Accelerating Transformation. He implored the private sector to raise productivity levels of companies so as to keep inflation in check. “An environment of high productivity, low and stable inflation would pave the way for us to achieve a high-income status,” Masisi said.

The President said the private sector should come up with cutting-edge ideas on how to boost productivity so as to maintain a low and stable inflationary environment. “Productivity is after all important to get our economy growing at a very high rate.”

Earlier this year, as part of effort to address this soaring inflation in August, government reduced the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) by two percent for a period of six months. In addition, government also zero-rated VAT on the supply of liquefied petroleum gas and cooking oil for the same period of six months and effected an increase on student allowances and old age pensions to cushion the beneficiaries against this financial squeeze.