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Budget Pitso engages stakeholders

17 Sep 2023

The budget Pitso is meant to take stakeholders’ input, feedback and thoughts on the overall national budget, says Finance Minister, Ms Peggy Serame.

She said this recently during the budget pitso for general stakeholders in Francistown

The meeting, she said, was the second to be held outside Gaborone this year following an insightful interface the ministry had with the youth in Mahalapye on Tuesday.

Minister Serame underscored the importance of consultation process within the budget cycle.

“We have the ministry’s budget strategy paper which guides the budget allocation.

It contains what we would have agreed on as different stakeholders, what our priorities should be and it is also an indication of the resources envelop so that we may have an idea of the contents of the overall budget,” she said.

Other than soliciting stakeholders’ inputs for the national budget, Ms Serame said the meeting also helped shape the policy direction that ought to be taken.

“Your input is not only important for the budget but also for policy direction and reforms that needs to be undertaken by the government,” she further stated that reminding stakeholders that some of their suggestions might find their way into the National Development Plan 12.

Minister Serame who was happy with the turn-out made a clarion call to stakeholders to open up and make as much contributions- and input during deliberations with a view to give the ministry something to work on.

Also, minister Serame informed her audience that although Botswana’s economy showed resilience after COVID-19 with a growth rate of about 11.9 per cent in 2021, which was the highest in Africa and one of the highest globally, the economic performance had taken a downward trend; something she said needed to be addressed to attain the high-income status by 2036 and create the much-needed jobs.

Earlier on in his welcoming remarks the Mayor of the City of Francistown, Mr Godisang Radisigo concurred that the consultative process adopted by the finance ministry was a way to encourage stakeholders’ buy-in of the national budget.

Mayor Radisigo who is also a Councillor for Satellite ward stated that the practice was in line with the notion of inclusive democracy that embraced the views of the general populace.

He told the minister that the city of Francistown had just finished undertaking a consultation process with the people of Francistown on the development they would like to see spring up in their city.

That being the case, he called on the ministry to consider giving the city of Francistown a larger piece of cake during budget allocation because it had the burden of providing people from villages in the periphery with various services on a day-to-day basis.

“Every day, people commute from as far as Marapong to get their services here and this overstretches our budget,” he said.

Furthermore, Ms Radisigo brought to the attention of the minister the recurring pipe breakages which left some areas with no water.

He wished also that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) guidelines could be expedited so that local authorities could be at liberty to forge partnerships with investors to develop their communities.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Olesitse Masimega said the ministry which saw itself as a centre of excellence needed collaborations with other development partners to adequately deliver on its mandate hence it had come up with such platforms as the stakeholders’ pitso.

“We want to be 100 per cent better and have over the years cultivated a culture of excellence to train top-end leadership in the ministry,” he said.

The Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Mr Batane Matekane shared with the audience the budget strategy paper which he stated was meant to provoke people’s thoughts and stir public discourse. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Mooketsi Mojalemotho


Event : The budget Pitso

Date : 17 Sep 2023