3 October 2017

Botswana: Poor Projects Implementation Worrisome

Sowa Town — Government continues to experience delays in completion of projects despite the injection of huge sums of money spent towards project implementation, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mr Frans van der Westhuzein has said.

Addressing a two days full council meeting for Sowa Town of Local Government and Rural Development Mr Van der Westhuzein said the ministry had put in place management structures and provided resources in the form of qualified engineers, architects, quantity surveyors and economists among others but projects management at district level was poor.

He further said that there were a number of projects in some districts which had failed and ultimately cost government more money as well as the communities they were supposed to benefit.

In all these scenarios, Mr Van Der Westhuzien questioned the competency of the experts who had been trained and paid by government at tax payers' expense.

He thus challenged leadership in the districts to take keen interest in project management and ensure that projects were delivered in time especially infrastructure projects which were recently awarded.

"I challenge both the executive, finance and performance committees of Sowa to make introspection on these issues to identify the root cause of the problem," he stressed.

Following numerous concerns on poor project management, the assistant minister said his ministry had taken a deliberate decision to meet, discuss and interact with councillors through full council meetings.

On other issues, he said the ministry was aware that most councils were owed by their customers adding that the debts were contributing to the ever increasing dependence on central government for financing council programmes.

Mr Van Der Westhuzien therefore implored those responsible to develop urgent strategies to collect government revenues so that they could provide much needed services to the communities they serve.

"Councils cannot continue to demand more money through delegations to the minister's office when the same council is failing to collect revenue," he said.

He gave the council up to March 2018 to have collected all money due them.

Source : BOPA

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