5 January 2016

Botswana: Economic Stimulus Programme Prudent - Butale

Moroka — Tati West MP Mr Biggie Butale has said that the recently announced Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) does not warrant reckless spending of the country's foreign reserves.

MP Butale, who was addressing a kgotla meeting in Moroka last week, said while government's intention is to fast-track some projects and re-inject life into the country's economy, caution would not be thrown to the wind.

He implored his constituents to understand that only a fraction of the reserves would be used to finance the ESP projects.

He emphasised that cleaning out the reserves would not be allowed to happen as that would plunge the country into an even more serious financial crisis whose effects would be graver than those of the economic downturn of recent years.

For their part, Moroka residents decried the serious water shortage that they have been grappling with for the past three months.

One resident, Ms Margaret Tafa, complained about the coupons that some residents use to draw water from public standpipes.

She said the majority of coupon-holders do not have access to water as their coupons are dysfunctional.

She also expressed concern about delays in private water connections. She observed that some residents would after applying wait for over a year to have water connected to their homes.In response to the concerns raised, a Water Utilities Corporation official Mr Modisaotsile Keetile said the water infrastructure they use to reticulate water is too old and thus prone to persistent breakdowns.

On the problems experienced by coupon-holders, Mr Keetile blamed the issue on the vandalism of the standpipes by residents, especially children who at times insert items such as coins into coupon slots out of curiosity.

He thus encouraged residents to take ownership of the standpipes and help the corporation to guard against their vandalism.

On delays in private water connection, he indicated that a lot of improvements have since been effected with the average waiting time after payment for connection now presently at three months.

Earlier when making his welcome remarks, Kgosi George Moroka informed MP Butale that crime has gone down in the village owing to increased police visibility.

Source : BOPA

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