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Councils: Key Service Providers
09/09/11
His Excellency addresses Ghanzi District Council .

His Excellency, Presi­dent Seretse Khama Ian Khama has stressed the importance of his and Cabi­net addresses and interaction with Local Authorities. He cited that this interaction provides a platform for exchange of ideas and discussion of key issues be­tween the national leadership and them when addressing the Ghanzi District Council.

“These interactions with Councils will continue because my government recognizes the important role of Local Authori­ties in this country as a corner­stone of our democratic system of governance and a critical in­terface between Central Gov­ernment and Batswana”, said His Excellency.

He also said that it is impor­tant that users of Council ser­vices should contribute to the cost of providing such services as funds will be inadequate for investment in infrastructure provision and upgrading, ex­tension and service provision. This is in view of current state of our economy in terms of its rev­enues and spending priorities.

Furthermore he challenged the Council to step revenue col­lection efforts to complement grants from government and explore various alternatives for cost saving and cost recov­ery to ensure sustainability of service provision to Batswana. Therefore Councils should seri­ously consider privatization of some non-core functions such as cleaning, security, refuse col­lection and gardening services.

“This will enable you to con­centrate more on programme and policy planning, implemen­tation and management, and further serve to stimulate pri­vate sector investment in the provision of goods and services traditionally provided by gov­ernment agencies. This will not only enhance efficiency, but will also generate sustainable rural employment and alleviate pov­erty” he emphasized.

On sustainable rural liveli­hoods, he said that this must be based on the economic re­alities of the rural situation. “We therefore need to recognize the varying potentials of the differ­ent districts and focus on issues of comparative advantage and market access. There is a lot of potential in areas such as the livestock subsector, cultural vil­lages, game viewing and the hospitality industry just to men­tion the key ones. These are some of the economic activities that Gantsi District can leverage on using government assistance programmes”, he advised.

In conclusion, he indicated that as government, their alle­giance and commitment must be anchored on people’s aspira­tions, concerns and needs. As a key service provider in the dis­trict, they can only be justified by the quality of service they offer to the district community and the impact of their strate­gies and interventions on the lives of Batswana.

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