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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Ipelegeng Still Very Relevant
14/05/12
MLG reviews Ipelegeng Programme

The People’s Ministry recently held a stakeholder workshop for the review of Ipelegeng to critique and identify areas of improvement to the noble programme. The workshop, addressed by the Minister of Local Government Honourable Peter Siele, was characterised by the presence of very influential people. In attendance were Assistant Minister, Hon. Tshireletso, Mayor of Gaborone, Chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, CEO of BIDPA and other senior government officials.

The purpose of the review was to identify feasible and cost-effective enhancements or alternatives to the programme. “My Ministry consequently decided to undertake a holistic review of the programme to assess its relevance, efficiency and effectiveness,” said the Minister. He explained that the Government has proposed to run Ipelegeng programme on a permanent basis, covering both areas. He also stated that the programme is a source of supplementary income and employment to, but not limited to vulnerable members of the community.

Hon. Siele mentioned the newly introduced sustenance initiative under the Ipelegeng programme whereby the beneficiaries are provided with a snack in the form of fat cake, (lengwinya) or lepakiwa and a drink. These are served at central points to the site and the suppliers are selected in any particular locality to support local economic development. In terms of health, the minister stated it is the responsibility of the department of public health under councils to ensure health standards are met; these should be monitored on a daily basis by Ipelegeng supervisors.

The Minister nonetheless asked the attendees to critique the review findings so that Botswana can ultimately shape the programme to serve Batswana better and take it forward. ‘‘Even after four years of implementation, there is still disagreement on what Ipelegeng seeks to address. Is it a poverty reduction strategy or simply a relief measure, what impact has it had on the targeted beneficiaries?’’ said the minister, adding that another challenge that they encounter often is that of low wages, citing some of the issues the programme is faced with.

When commenting, the chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi Kgosi Puso Gaborone stated that there is need to empower the institution of Bogosi so that Batswana can improve the sense of self reliance while Mr Leach Tlhomelang mentioned the lack of resources and that Ipelegeng and young farmers Fund collide with each other.

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