Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Budget Speech
18/03/13
A select few sons of our country have had the privilege to hold the country’s purse in their hands, drawing up the budget, and developing economic policy of our country.

Editor’s Brief

A select few sons of our country have had the privilege to hold the country’s purse in their hands, drawing up the budget, and developing economic policy of our country. These men are QKJ Masire, P. Mmusi, PHK Kedikilwe, FG Mogae, B. Gaolathe and K.O. Matambo.

This is a huge task, which takes long meetings, sleepless nights and surely some anxiety as to whether what they propose is the correct medicine.

Still, having undergone all that, once in a year, they have to appear before the full glare of television cameras, their voices carried to far flung areas such by transmitter radios, their words transcribed into ink by the print media and later to be transformed into the new media- e-based news sites, twitter, facebook you name it. The occasion is the Budget Speech and once again it will be on the 04th of February 2013.

This has been a constant feature of our democracy, along with the black briefcase that these men have strode into the chamber clasping as if it is a matter of life of death. Maybe it is. To this day, a lot of people stay glued to their television sets as they the Honourable Ministers do the walk with the briefcase.

As always there are many expectations. Big business pray for tax cuts, the unemployed look forward to job creation, civil servants wish for salary increment, ministries look for bigger budget share etc. All this will be revealed by the Honourable Minister himself in a speech of about two hours.

Then there is that touchy moment, such as when he adds some taxes such as the Sin Tax that covers smokers, gamblers and drinkers. All of a sudden the speech ceases to be just about how much the country owes and is owed, foreign reserves, developments projects etc. At this juncture it starts getting a lot personal for a whole bunch of people.

Having said that I hope that this year Honourable Kenneth Matambo brings joy to a lot of people.

What’s In It For Us?

As we await the Budget Speech for the financial year 2013/2014 it has become evident that everyone is eager to find out what the Honourable Minister of Finance and Development Planning’s suitcase has in store for the newly renamed Ministry. i.e. Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. This is said in the context that, the Rural Development aspect of the Ministry is premised on developing the lives of individual Batswana and thus creating sustainable and resilient communities. It should therefore be interesting to see how Hon. Matambo divides the cake with reference to this.

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