With no valuable natural resources the economy of Maseru is heavily reliant on foreign investment and tourism. In recent years there has been a welcome increase in investment from Asia, particularly China and Taiwan, resulting in the proliferation of clothing, footwear, textiles, and food processing industrial enterprises.
Unemployment remains high, however, with many indigenous households still dependent on migrant labor working in South Africa, although work opportunities on the South African mines have declined dramatically.
Expatriates are mainly employed in the NGO, aid and diplomatic sectors, where there are infrequent openings, mainly at skilled levels. In the commercial sector there are some engineering, teaching, retail and hotel management positions available from time to time.
Most expatriates in Maseru are recruited abroad in their home countries, or are sent to Maseru by their employers at home for a contracted period. It is very difficult to find a job in Maseru if you arrive without one.
If you wish to work in Maseru the best way to find a job is online, but don’t expect many results to pop up for jobs in Maseru with a casual search, or even from most of the large international recruitment websites you may usually consult, although it is always worth a try! Some, like Indeed, have search results for Lesotho. The business social media platform LinkedIn is also a good forum for making contacts and seeking opportunities.
The best advice we can give is to research likely recruiters who may be seeking someone with your skills, qualifications and experience, and then approach them directly by email. Examples are CARE International, the United Nations or Red Cross Society. There are also occasional opportunities for teaching English, so browse the many international websites that offer such positions.
All temporary and permanent residents of Lesotho must pay personal tax on their income, whether it be from an employer or self-employment. You’ll pay tax on all compensation, from salaries, overtime and leave pay to director’s fees and bonuses from any source inside Lesotho. The personal tax rate varies according to your income, up to around 35% for high earners.
Expatriates, however, are not taxed on property income derived from foreign sources or disposal of investment assets that generate a source of foreign income.
The tax year in Lesotho runs from 1 April to 31 March. Employers in Maseru deduct tax from salaries and wages and remit it to the government, but you will still have to fill in a tax return every year. Married couples are taxed separately. There are no social security payments required in Lesotho.