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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Dikgosi Examine Local Gov’t Bill
20/06/11
 Local Government Bill on the way

As is the norm, before a Bill becomes law, it has to pass through various stages of consultations with stake­holders so they can contribute to, and make meaningful additions to­wards the Bill, before it is finalized and taken to the approval stage. In this context, The Local Government Bill, is currently in the consultation stage and is no exception to proce­dure.

The Local Government Bill intends to, consolidate the District Coun­cils Act (CAP 40:01) and the Town­ships Act (CAP 40:02) into one Local Government Act that governs LAs regardless of whether, they are in a rural or urban locality. The Bill was recently discussed at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi for their input and suggestions.

During his presentation of the Bill at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi Hon. Mokalake said “Dikgosi play a pivotal role in local governance and the fact that the Bill touches on issues of, culture and tribal properties, government deemed it prudent that it be re­ferred to this Honorable House, in accordance with the provision Sec­tion 88(2) of the constitution.”

Giving a brief background of the ori­gins of the Bill, the Minister told the House that the Bill came about after country wide public consultations through a Presidential Commission in 2001. The Commission was man­dated to review the effectiveness of the structure, organization, roles and responsibilities of Local Govern­ment institutions in Botswana.

Furthermore Hon. Mokalake availed that “there are some inherent weak­nesses and barriers for effective ser­vice delivery in the legal framework of the Councils.” This was said referring to the Commissions finding, that through Councils, government can give meaning to effective ser­vice delivery and good governance whilst at the same time securing full participation of local communi­ties. Therefore, strengthening them would stimulate ownership, ac­countability and responsibility of councils in discharging their man­date.

The Minister concluded by going through some of the clauses of the Bill and interpreted some of the terminology used in the Bill. He ap­pealed Members for suggestions to improve the Bill, in the hope that in the end through the same docu­ment, better service delivery and local governance can be achieved for the citizenry at large. Consulta­tions are continuing with different stakeholders with the next presen­tation of the Bill slotted for July’s Parliament sitting, where members of parliament will seize the opportu­nity to also contribute to the Bill.

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