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Nkaigwa criticises abuse of programmes

The Mayor of Gaborone Mr Haskins Nkaigwa says even though he appreciates the initiatives put in place by government to address poverty, he is concerned with the abuse of such programmes.

Addressing the Gaborone full council meeting, Mr Nkaigwa sighted the Alternative Packages programme which had clear guidelines on who had to benefit and amounts per project, yet some people were given money when they did not qualify.

Mr Nkaigwa said it seemed the council did not have control over resources allocated to it, as too many directives on what to do with the money came from central government.

In addition he said people living in the same location were given similar projects and wondered how they were expected to make profit, noting that it came as no surprise when some ended up consuming their stock and coming back to council for more funding. 

“We are the future generation and therefore there is need to continue lobbying government to re-consider unsustainable programmes”, he said.

He explained the procurement of equipment and materials for Alternative Packages programme was ongoing, noting that 310 beneficiaries have been enrolled into the programme. So far the council had spent P10 million on both procurement of material and equipment as well as training of the beneficiaries.

The mayor said council was facing challenges in the implementation of the programme including lack of operational spaces for the projects, market saturation for most of the projects as well as lack of commitment to the projects by some of the beneficiaries.

Mr Nkaigwa said although the challenge of market saturation exists, applications were still being received requesting for similar projects and this has forced the council to take a decision to consult further with the beneficiaries to vary their projects.

 On other challenges and achievements, he said compared to the previous quarter, the council social welfare office had a total of 2 013 beneficiaries, a reduction by 361 beneficiaries amounting to 15 per cent.

The reduction, he said, had been realised mostly from the orphan care and destitution programmes due to transfers or repatriation and graduation from programmes. There  were currently 174 destitute persons, 1 295 orphans, 451 needy students, 35 Community Home Based care patients and 33 children in need of care.  

Mayor Nkaigwa however hailed a consultative meeting with stakeholders on Children’s Act during the month of February at which a District Child Protection Committee was elected. He said the move envisaged to assist in managing issues affecting children in a more systematic way.

Regarding education, Mr Nkaigwa said it was one of the most important investments any country could make in its people and its future and was critical to reducing poverty and inequality. He however hailed the three senior secondary schools of St. Joseph's College, Naledi and Gaborone for their sterling performance in last year’s BGCSEs.

The council is expected to debate various motions and respond to some questions. Various organisations are expected to address it during its seven day sitting. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Benjamin Shapi

Location : GABORONE

Event : Council Meeting

Date : Mar 21 Thu,2013

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