Tourism Taxes Should Augment Cattle Prices – Tawana


Kgosi Tawana Moremi II has suggested that government should use part of taxes it receives from the tourism industry to augment the low prices of Ngamiland cattle and farming land, which is result of the area housing the industry. Kgosi Tawana said this would ensure that farmers in the area compete at the same level with the rest of the country when it comes to cattle farming and land ownership.

In one of his first major official engagement since returning to office, Kgosi Tawana addressed the Hospitality Association of Botswana (HATAB) 2023 annual conference where he made the plea.

Tawana said the low prices are a direct result of the area classified a red zone due to the prevalence of foot and mouth disease. This also comes as a direct result of the area housing tourism’s product of wildlife responsible for the spread of the disease.

“We have no qualms in hosting tourism and the general principle is that the polluter pays. How can we equate the tourism taxation to the cattle value in the land, should we not have taxes augmenting the cattle prices so that we can compete with the rest,” Tawana advised. Tawana indicated the low cattle prices and farming land value have affected the livelihoods of people in the area.

Tawana said the request should not be taken to mean they have problems hosting the industry or the wildlife in the area, adding that the inhabitants took a decision in the 60s to embrace tourism an employment enabler.

“It was indicated even at that stage that we would have issues with the foot and mouth disease, and we accepted then that it was a fact of life we will have to manage,” he said.

He said the problem arises when there is an outbreak of the diseases which immediately impacts on cattle prices, which then plunge, with the same applying to the value of farming land.

Tawana said he was not suggesting additional taxes to the tourism industry, but rather use of already existing that is paid to the government already and can be used to mitigate the difference in pricing.

HATAB Chairman Joe Motse, speaking immediately after Kgosi Tawana indicated that he had committed that they will engage with farmers and the industry to find ways to work and cushion each other.

“We will also work together as HATAB and Kgosi on how we can work together with farmers’ associations in the area and find ways to suggest to government of engagements on working together going forward,” Motse highlighted.

Meanwhile, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane who was accompanied by four government ministers, indicated that they have noted the suggestion and plea by Kgosi Tawana, which would have suggested that government would look into the matter with a view to assist farmers.


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