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Frustrated NWDC to seek Presidents intervention

16 Mar 2023

North West District councillors have resolved to send a delegation to the Office of the President to seek intervention regarding long-standing issues in their district. 

They expressed displeasure during a council session in Maun Tuesday noting that some issues had been pending for years and responses from relevant ministries were not satisfactory. They cited the issue of recognition of Ditshiping settlement which dated back to 2017 when the council made a resolution to request a special waiver for the recognition of the settlement situated within a Wildlife Management Area. 

The resolution came after residents asked for elevation of the settlement to village status as they argued that Ditshiping lacked developments such as a school, clinic, roads and other amenities among others. However, the relevant ministry rejected the request on grounds that the settlement did not meet requirements stipulated in the National Settlement Policy. 

However, councillors requested a waiver on compassionate grounds as residents had difficulty accessing services because of its location in the Okavango Delta.

Earlier on, North West council secretary, Mr Motlogelwa Thuso informed the house about a response from the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which indicated that it was still consulting other stakeholders on the issue. 

The response did not sit well with councillors hence the resolution to seek intervention from either the President or his deputy. 

Bojanala area councillor, Mr Luke Motlaleselo expressed frustration at the delays, noting that residents were losing trust in the council as they now believed it was not responding to their needs. 

He argued recognition of Ditshiping could have long been addressed were it not for “delaying tactics”. 

On other issues, Cllr Ntlogelang Kebonyekgotla of Boyei ward said the matter of establishment of Qorotsha settlement should also be prioritised as it had delayed.

The settlement came into existence in 2013 through a cabinet directive cab 18, 2018. 

The settlement falls within Kareng extension area and it has long been expected that Rural Area Dwellers (RADs) within the locality would be relocated to Qorotsha but the exercise has taken long as it was reported that the move was stalled by unavailability of water. 

“It had been ten years now and the project is not yet completed. I call upon the council leadership to prioritise this project for the benefit of the community. We should request budget from the government to undertake some of the developments lacking behind such as a clinic and school,” said Mr Kebonyekgotla. 

While he appreciated efforts made by the council to come up with a long-term solution for sourcing water from as far as 18km from the settlement, Cllr Kebonyekgotla noted that other stakeholders should also come on board to bring services to the new settlement so that residents could easily access them. 

So far the council had constructed houses and kraals but lack of water stalled the exercise to relocate residents, he said North West District Council chairman who is also area councillor for Khwai/Mababe concurred that the project should be prioritised adding that they should also request funds for the completion of the project. 

All relevant departments, he said should also play their part to ensure residents enjoyed services once they relocated. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Council meet

Date : 16 Mar 2023