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Botswana: Locals must be part of economic transformation

Published date:
Friday, 12 February 2010

Contributing to the 2010/11 budget proposals in Parliament on Wednesday, Shoshong MP, Mr Philip Makgalemele, said he appreciated why public service salaries were not increased, arguing the 15 per cent government contribution towards public officers pensions fund was a great assistance.

Regarding the value added tax (VAT) which has been increased by two to 12 per cent, MP Makgalemele said it was of grave concern even though he appreciated that government revenues had declined.

He said it would take apt work ethics to transform the countrys economy, noting that Batswana need to be bold enough to look for other sources of income.

Mr Makgalemele said government has signed a number of trade agreements, among them the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), but there were still low volumes of export, signaling the country had failed to take advantage of such.

He said government should provide serviced land to investors since that would save them time instead of running around looking for services and applying for title deeds.

The Shoshong legislator commended departments of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development for sharing resources. He said the initiative should be replicated in the rest of government.

He said some government vehicles, which were being boarded were still road worthy hence there was a need to test each vehicle to ensure that they were used to their optimum before being boarded.

MP Makgalemele said people employed under Ipelegeng should be enabled to utilize the skills they learn through the programme to venture into business.

He also called for a comprehensive rehabilitation strategy, saying currently government did not have a clear policy through which people could graduate from poverty.

The Shoshong legislator added that the self reliance spirit should also be revived as government could not carry out development programmes alone.

He called on government to introduce toll gates as a way of generating revenue.

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