Botswana: Invest in Local Economy - NWDC Chairperson

Maun — North West District Council chairperson, Mr Kebareeditse Ntsogotlho has underscored the need for the council to lead the way in creating an economy that works for local people.

Giving welcome remarks during a special full council meeting to review the 2021/22 financial year recurrent budget estimates, he emphasised the need to change the way of doing things and consider the local market when awarding tenders.

The council, he said, should always prioritise buying from local businesses, saying that it was disturbing to see organisations and departments procuring products from other regions while they had businesses that offered the same products.

Mr Ntsogotlho revealed that they recently had a meeting with Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matseka who urged councils to build capacity to better economic development.

The minister, he said, stressed the need for councils to come up with prototypes to support local businesses to grow.

In addition, he said if local businesses produced sub-standard products or services, they should help them to meet the right standards.

He also said the minister encouraged councils to invest in the local economy.

The council chairperson said he wished his council could implement the minister's request, adding that they should increase spending to invest in the local economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, had a severe economic impact on local economies hence their support to businesses was paramount in order for them to remain afloat.

Mr Ntsogotlho also decried the delay in project implementation and completion, stating that some contractors had a tendency of going at a snail space when awarded projects and attributed that to poor supervision on the council side.

He urged officers to up their game and ensure close monitoring and supervision of projects for the benefit of the community.

He said he had observed that some contractors were burdened with many projects hence the delay in completing them.

He called on the council to revisit the issue and ensure projects were awarded to different contractors to speed up implementation.

On other issues, Mr Ntsogotlho acknowledged fellow councillors efforts in sensitising the community about COVID-19 and its consequences.

In an effort to contain the spread of transmission, he said some councillors had taken the responsibility to sensitise communities through public address systems and praised them for a job well done.

He said the district was experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and that there was need to come up with mitigating measures to protect communities.

The council was also informed about the recent launch of COVID vaccination in the region, and Mr Ntsogotlho implored them to encourage elders aged 55 and above to take the vaccine at health facilities within their villages.

Source : BOPA

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