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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Bill Consultation Continues
05/12/11
Local Government Bill Consultation in Progress 

Members of Parliament have called or more consultation on the ongoing Local Government   Bill No. 13 of 2011. They said this yesterday at a briefing by the Hon. Minister Siele on issues that arose from consultation made thus far.

A resolution was adopted by Parliament in July 2011 that the discussion on the Local Govern- ment Bill   should be deferred pending consultation of   relevant stakeholders by the Ministry. “A series of Kgotla meetings and full council meetings have been   addressed around the country covering 53 villages in Kgotla meetings and 12 Full Council meetings thus far” noted the minister.

However, members of parliament who attended the discussion of the bill decried lack of consultation   especially   basing their argument on the statistics availed by the minister of 53 villages. They said more areas have not been covered and hence the call for more consultation because they feared a lot of Batswana could still be in the dark about this very important document.  “Botswana comprises   of just over 500 villages and clearly the number of villages covered during the consultation process is way below expectation.

Certain clauses needed interpretation such as clause 33 that touches on immunity of ar- rest; they said it is not clear and subject for   debate.     Members of parliament called for the Bill to look into issues of centralization of powers in one individual, to consider leaving the abolishment  of floor crossing; devolution of powers.  This, they argued does not do anything to improve service delivery which is so much needed by the citizenry. “We should look at this Bill from a service delivery point of view, they said.

In the end the Minister thanked for the input and also called those in attendance   to assist in the consulting process of the bill.  He said, “We are all part of the consultative process of this Bill, so we must all play a leading role to ensure the success of it”. Nonetheless the consultative process continues and very soon it will be at Ntlo ya Dikgosi.

The Local Government   Bill is an Act that seeks to consolidate the two Local Government Acts of District Councils act and the Townships act to provide for the establishment   of   councils and for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith.

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