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New Ntlo ya Dikgosi chamber planned for NDP 12

29 Feb 2024

Plans are underway to build a new chamber for Ntlo ya Dikgosi with actual construction planned for National Development Plan (NDP) 12.

Minister for State President, Mr Kabo Morwaeng said this when presenting the National Assembly budget proposal for the 2024/25 financial year during a Parliament committee stage on Monday.

He said land for the new Ntlo ya Dikgosi chamber had been identified and that other related processes would be concluded during the 2024/2025 financial year.

Minister Morwaeng said as dikgosi continued with the scope and design of the building, Batswana architects would be given the opportunity to showcase their skills in developing a masterpiece which would encapsulate the culture and traditions of Batswana.

The minister noted that Botswana Housing Corporation was spearheading the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Public Works.

On other National Assembly projects which were ongoing, Mr Morwaeng said was the refurbishment and restoration of Parliament buildings, Parliament computerisation programme, improving

Botswana Speaks programme, upgrading of Parliament live broadcasting, Parliament security and the development of the organisational structure.

He said out of the P12.8 billion allocated to Parliament in the current financial year, over P6.4 million had been spent and that most of the projects were nearing completion. Minister Morwaeng said the refurbishment scheduled completion date was  March 28.

With regard to Botswana Speaks, he said most of the works entailed upgrading existing platforms to introduce the Short Messaging System (SMS) gateway and the development of a mobile App and other related applications to improve user experience, the platform efficiency and effectiveness.

He also said Parliament experienced some delays related to lengthy procurement processes and inadequate in-house procurement capacity.

As a result, he said the project which was intended to enhance the security of Parliament experienced challenges due to capacity constraints.

He added that despite the milestones achieved thus far, Parliament continued to experience challenges in project implementation.

He said they could be addressed through the continuous review of public procurement guidelines, capacity building as well as collaboration with key institutions such as Madirelo Trade and Testing Centre (MTTC) in refurbishment and restoration works to reduce costs.

Mr Morwaeng also said the ongoing review of the National Assembly Service Level Agreements (SLA) would go a long way towards improving project implementation and monitoring.

Concerning performance of Parliament during the year under review, he said the 12th Parliament continued to play a key role in the democracy through executing its mandate of legislation, oversight, representation and budget approval.

He noted that 23 bills were passed during the period under review and that a significant number of the bills addressed gaps in existing laws.

As for the 2024/25 financial year, Minister Morwaeng proposed P326 million for Parliament made up of P317 million for recurrent budget and P9.1 million for the development budget.

He said the development budget would, among others, cover the continuation of the Botswana Speaks programme which was budgeted P1 million and the restoration of Parliament buildings at P3 million.

He said other projects included computerisation covering Parliament intranet and Ntlo ya Dikgosi chamber project and its associated facilities covering design works each budgeted P1 million,

Live broadcasting project covering the state-of-the-art studio lights and production equipment at P1.5 million and the organisational structure and security project at P1.5 million.

Also, the minister said the budget pivoted around preparations and dissolution of the 12th Parliament as well as preparations to welcome members of the 13th Parliament.

He said the activities required a lot of resources both in terms of funding and human capital.

After debate, Members of Parliament approved the proposed budget.ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Bonang Masolotate

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 29 Feb 2024