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Govt to improve efficiency of welfare programmes

03 Feb 2020

Botswana’s unemployment rate increased to 18.19 per cent in December 2019, from the previously reported number of 17.94 per cent in December 2018, according to Global Economic Data, Indicators, Charts and Forecasts,

In that regard government has vowed to continue to implement social welfare programmes to ensure that inclusive growth is achieved.

Presenting the 2020-21 budget proposal, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka said the quest to move the country forward to a high income status, government would ensure that those within the society who, for various reasons, cannot meaningfully participate in the mainstream activities were not left behind. He said as part of the transformation and efficient use of public funds, great focus would be put on the efficiency and effectiveness of social welfare programmes.

“A situation where the cost of delivering some of these programmes far exceed the value of the programmes cannot be allowed to continue in this era of budgetary constraints,” he said.
Dr Matsheka said the design and implementation of social welfare programmes would be revisited to ensure maximum benefit to the targeted beneficiaries.

Furthermore, he said the main goal of social protection programme was to provide support to the vulnerable groups in the society, hence government continued to implement various social protection programmes to provide services to destitute persons, people living with disabilities, Community Health Based Care patients, Old Age Pensioners, World War II veterans, populations severely affected by drought as well as orphans and vulnerable children.

The amount of resources proposed for the programmes in the 2020/2021 budget, he said bore testimony to government commitment to ensure that the vulnerable groups were catered for.

He said in order to harmonise social protection programmes as a means of boosting efficiencies, a National Social Protection Framework (NSPF) would be developed in 2020/2021 Financial year.

Dr Matsheka said as part of the development of NSPF, the Proxy Means Testing (PMT) and Single Social Registry (SSR) were being piloted and would be rolled out to other district.

PMT,he said was expected to improve efficiencies by reducing errors including subjectivity and turnaround time on assessment while the SSR,a central registry of all beneficiaries, would be instrumental in streamlining the eligibility criteria to minimize multiple dipping.

The Consolidated Framework for Empowerment Programmes, he said would also provide a sharp focus on the social upliftment component aimed at developing sustainable livelihood, adding that the approach promotes the graduation of beneficiaries and reduce dependency on government assistance over time. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : Gaborone

Event : Budget Speech

Date : 03 Feb 2020