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Over P12 billion for local govt rural development

04 Mar 2024

Parliament has approved the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development proposed budget of over P12 billion comprising of P9.4 billion and P2.8 billion for the recurrent and development budgets respectively for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Presenting the budget proposal to Parliament last Thursday, Minister Kgotla Autlwetse said they were meticulously crafted to align with the Reset and Reclaim Agenda, the Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) as well as cabinet strategic thrusts and the SmartBots strategy.

He said the budget proposal was also in line with his ministry’s strategy and transformation plan and national development priorities outlined in the Second Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP) as well as the general direction of the 2024/25 budget speech.

The proposal, he said, acted as a conduit to propel the nation towards achieving Vision 2036 aspirations.

Additionally, Mr Autlwetse said the ministry had made strides in improving the lives of the most vulnerable citizens such as expanding access to essential services and providing targeted support to those in need.

He said the Rural Development Council (RDC) remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting community-led projects and complementing the initiatives undertaken by various line ministries.

“During the financial year 2023/2024 and as part of the Second Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP) II, the Rural Development Council was allocated a sum of P6.3 million to bolster community-led endeavours,” he said.

The funds, Mr Autlwetse said, were strategically channeled into diverse projects, including the expansion of Zutshwa Salt Mine in the Hukuntsi District, revival of Morula processing plant in the  Kweneng District and another new Morula plant in Tsamaya in the North East District as well as the mapping of Morula in the northern region, covering areas from Tswapong through the North East District to Nata/Gweta.

He said the financial resources also facilitated capacity building programmes for community trusts and boards in Zutshwa, Letlhakeng, Boteti, and BORAVAST, (Bokspits, Rapplespan, Valhoek and Struisndam) area, focusing on enhancing governance and financial management.

“This collaborative effort, in partnership with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), aims to empower the trusts to handle projects efficiently and propel them toward commercialisation and sustainability,” he said.

He said the implementation of the projects was underway and at various stages, adding that it was anticipated to create 77 permanent jobs and improve rural livelihoods through the establishment of robust project value chains.

To sustain the positive momentum, Mr Autlwetse said funds totalling P3 million were needed to continue supporting identified community projects across various districts during financial year 2024/2025.

Furthermore, Mr Autlwetse said an allocation of P6.3 million was made to the ministry for the implementation of Local Economic Development (LED) strategies and plans during 2023/2024 financial year.

He said the funding was aimed at supporting community project start-ups and fostering community resilience and sustainable local economies.

The minister thus proposed the sum of P1 million for the upcoming financial year to strengthen the technical capacity of beneficiaries and to foster product-market linkages as well as enhancing monitoring mechanisms for sustained production and business viability. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 04 Mar 2024