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Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC)
COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY SPEECH
05/04/11
2010/2011 DEVELOPMENT BUDGET Madam Chairperson, the 2010/2011 Development budget for my Ministry amounts to P2, 092,143,000 (Two billion and ninety two million, one hundred and forty three thousand Pula).  Out of this amount P1, 569,172,839 (One billion, five hundred and sixty nine million and one hundred and seventy two thousand eight hundred and thirty nine) or 80% has been spent to date

 

 

Republic of Botswana Ministry of Transport and Communications

 

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY SPEECH

FOR HEAD 2400

 

Consolidated and Development Funds

 

Estimates 2011/2012

 

By

 

Honourable Frank J. Ramsden, M.P.

Minister of Transport and Communications

 

Delivered to the Committee of Supply on 28th March 2011

 

1.        Madam Chairperson, I have the honour to present my    Ministry’s budget proposals for the Financial Year 2011/2012 for consideration and approval by this Honourable Committee. The Ministry is made up of six (6) Departments and six (6) Parastatals whose mandate is to oversee implementation and management of transportation and communication projects and programmes.

 

2.         Madam Chairperson, before I proceed with the presentation of my Ministry’s budget proposals for the 2011/12 financial year, I would like to update this Honourable Committee on progress made during the 2010/2011 financial year.

 

3.         The Transport and Communications Sector contributed 4.9% to the Gross Domestic Product in 2009.  The total figure for 2010 is not yet available.  Latest figures indicate contributions of 4.5%, 4.3% and 4.1% in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2010. 

 

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY

 

4.         Madam Chairperson, Following the Amendment of the Road Transport Act Section 18 in 2008, and the subsequent issuance of Statutory Instrument Number 122 of 2010, vehicle flagging began on 01 March 2011.

    

5.         The Department is responsible for the issuance of Drivers Licenses, Public Operators’ Permits and Licensing of vehicles countrywide. 

 

6.         Up till now, 50% of all these services were done manually, especially in rural areas and 50% through automated systems in major settlements.  The plan is to roll this automation to wherever these services are provided. 

 

 

7.         Madam Chairperson let me acknowledge and once again thank the Motor Vehicle Fund for having assisted us in our quest to automate DRTS by donating IT equipment to it in February 2011. 

8.         It is therefore my expectation that with automation we will eliminate duplication of permit numbers, increase in the number of fake permits, clashes between passenger operators on time slots, poor traceability of records, inadequate security features in current documents, increasing number of reported corruption cases relating to the   issuance of passenger permits.  

 

9.         At the end of it all, when everything is in place, DRTS should have a fully integrated end-to- end road transport management system that is effective, efficient and easy to manage.

 

10.              The Moratorium on Public Transport permit applications has been lifted and the public may apply at Offices nearest to them.   The new permit will be issued on a secure paper and will be using an automated system to address issues of fraud which were rampant before the moratorium.

 

 

 

 

CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF BOTSWANA

 

11.              Madam Chairperson, The Amended Civil Aviation Bill has gone through Cabinet and will be tabled in Parliament in the July/August sitting.  Once passed and it becomes an Act of Parliament the Civil Aviation Authority will then be able to license and regulate more Operators.

 

12.              The first phase construction of the New Terminal Building at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport was handed over to Government on 19th May 2010 to allow for the commencement of Phase Two construction.  Remedial works are still to be carried out on Phase One.  Runway extension, parallel taxiway and cargo apron were completed in March and December 2010 respectively.   

 

13.              Madam Chairperson, airside works for Maun Airport are expected to be completed in May 2012.  Maun Airport Terminal Building and new Air Traffic Control Tower construction will commence in the Financial Year 2011/2012 to last 24 months. The tender for Airside Works at Kasane Airport is expected to be awarded in April 2011.  Construction is expected to commence in June 2011 to last 18 months.

14.              Kasane Terminal Building design had to be revised to include the old terminal structure which initially was to be demolished.  Completion of the revised design is expected in August 2011. Tenders for construction will be floated thereafter.

 

15.              Francistown Airport is expected to be substantially completed by the end of June 2011. The design for Ghanzi airport is also completed.  Construction will follow when funds are available.

 

 

16.              Madam Chairperson, Botswana has signed eight (8) Bilateral Air Services (BASA) Agreements with Belgium, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The ninth (9th) with Qatar will be signed on April 12, 2011.  We also have Memoranda of understanding with Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Pakistan, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates.   These BASAs are intended to create a conducive environment for attracting more operators, including major airlines that will directly link Botswana with major destinations in the World.

Air Botswana

17.              Air Botswana is working hard to address all its short-comings which include audits by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, re-fleeting and human resource issues. Air Botswana is striving to be reaccepted into the International Air Transport Association (IATA) by the end of 2011 and in preparation for refleeting the airline has identified new routes locally and to most of the regional capitals and a few overseas destinations.  Air Botswana lost P45million in 2009/2010.  The anticipated loss for 2010/2011 is around P23 million.

 

Transport Hub

18.              Steps towards the realisation of the Transport Hub are at an advanced stage.  Currently my Ministry is working on the Integrated Transport Policy for Botswana.  The study on the regional integration of Botswana’s transport sector is about to commence.  Against this background, the World Bank is financing a study for the Greater Gaborone multi-modal transportation system to inform Government on possible solutions on current transportation needs for the country.

 

19.              Other Transport Hub components which are, the Kazungula Bridge, the Trans-Kalahari Railway line, Mosetse-Kazungula Railway line, Mmamabula-Ellisras Railway line, the Dry Port at Walvis Bay and the Botswana-Mozambique-Zimbabwe Railway line are at different stages of development. 

 

20.              For the TKR and the Dry Port, expressions of interest were invited last year in October. We are in the process of recruiting a Transaction Advisor for TKR.  The plan was to award for construction in November 2011.  The award for the Dry Port development will be announced in the near future.   Phase II of the TKR study which comprises Mosetse-Kazungula and Mmamabula-Ellisras Railway projects is expected to be completed in June 2011 with award for construction of Mosetse-Kazungula Railway planned for November 2011.   Madam Chairperson, should financiers be found, the plan was to have awarded for the construction of Kazungula Bridge in October 2011.  The signing of a tripartite MoU between Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to facilitate the building of a Railway line joining the three countries will be signed on 15 April 2011 in Maputo. 

CENTRAL TRANSPORT ORGANISATION

21.              In order to eliminate vehicle detention time and alleviate congestion of trucks and travellers at Kazungula Border Post, CTO procured one ferry to complement the three owned by Zambia. The ferry was fabricated in Kasane at a cost of about P18 million.  The project started in November 2009 and was completed in November 2010.  The ferry has been undergoing trials since December 2010. The new ferry for Mohembo is 95% complete and will be commissioned around June 2011. During 2010/11 CTO conducted two auction sales. The first sale was held in June/July 2010 when 270 vehicles were sold and fetched P 9,743,250.00.  The second was held in October/November 2010, where 268 vehicles were sold for   P 11,445,090.00 was made. This makes a total of 538 vehicles fetching P 21,188,340.00.

 

BOTSWANA RAILWAYS

22.              Botswana Railways (BR) is embarking on a turnaround strategy.  BR has put out a tender for the purchase of 160 wagons and fuel tankers to meet growing demands for commodities which include salt, soda-ash, and coal.  The organisation continues to probe private financiers for other options of financing more rolling stock.

23.              Botswana Railways continues to make operating losses. The semi-audited Income Statement for 2009/2010 indicates a net loss of P20.739 million that is equal to the organisation’s operating losses, attributed to the overhaul of locomotives, wagons including fuel and wagon hire. The Government approved P586.5 million in November 2008 for BR restructuring and recapitalization (1st tranche). This was spread over the whole NDP10 period, resulting in provisions of +P50 million disbursements to BR starting in 2010/2011. The Organisation is considering establishing a major wagon and locomotive Maintenance and Repairs workshop in the country during the 2011/2012 Financial Year.  BR Properties is developing a shopping mall at the Gaborone station.  Construction is expected to be completed in September 2011.  A temporary Dry Port is being established in Palapye to service developments such as the construction of the Morupule B Power Station, the new University (BIUST) and the glass factory.  Continuation of this port is being considered to service the glass factory operations and leverage other industries beyond the construction phase.

 

 

 

Department of Roads

24.              Roads Department (RD) has made a deliberate effort to accord road maintenance priority in order to preserve the value of the national road asset.  In collaboration with NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Overseas Development) the Department has compiled the Botswana Road Maintenance Manual (BRMM), planned for launch in April 2011.  In order to address the maintenance backlog of our Road network the Department is embarking on a two pronged approach of scaling up in-house interventions by increasing equipment and special vehicles at out stations. The other approach is to intensify resealing of roads that have deteriorated badly because they have reached the end of their design life. Unlike in the past, when maintenance of roads was to reconstruct, the Ministry has come up with a better maintenance programme of resealing.  We are currently resealing the following roads:  Oodi–Modipane, Gaborone–Boatle, Molepolole– Letlhakeng, Molepolole Internal roads and Pandamatenga – Kazungula Road. These projects started in November 2010 and are expected to be completed by December 2011.

 

 

25.              The following Roads, Boatle – Ramotswa, Sefophe-Selibe-Phikwe, Sekoma-Mabutsane, Molepolole-Mapharangwane junction and Kasane-Ngoma will be awarded for resealing and widening in 2011/2012. Francistown– Nata and Tutume – Maitengwe- Projects are at quantification stage and are expected to commence by end of May 2011. Tenders should be invited during the course of the year for the resealing and widening of the following projects: - Tswapong access roads (Lecheng, Malaka, Gootau, Goosekgweng, Manaledi, Matlhakola, Mokungwane, Pilikwe, Mhalapitsa, Majwaneng, Maunatlala and Seolwane. The construction of the following roads was completed in 2009/10: Dutlwe – Morwamosu (96 Km + 31km Kang-Tsetseng access road), Tsabong – Middlepits (100Km) and Middlepits – Bokspits (156 Km + 4.7 access roads).  The following roads are under construction: Gaborone western By-Pass – Metsimotlhabe (13 Km) 68% complete, Gaborone – Tlokweng Border Post (22.1 Km) 33% complete, Nata– Pandamatenga (136,5 Km) 38% complete, Francistown – Ramokgwebana (78 Km + 50,4 Km access roads), Kang – Hukuntsi (108 Km), Ngoma – Kachikau (38 Km)75% complete.  Others include Sua Junction-Sua Pan (40 Km) 62% complete and Rakops/Mmadikola access roads, 80% complete.

26.              The following Road and Bridge projects have been designed but could not be constructed due to the current economic situation:- Tshesebe-Masunga, Francistown-Tonota, Phitshane-Mabule, Gaborone-Lobatse and Mohembo-Beetshaa. Mohembo Bridge, Mogojogojo and Molapowabojang Bridges have also been designed. The Charleshill-Ncojane Road design is on-going, financed through the Fuel Levy.

 

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation

27.              Botswana connected to the East African Cable System (EASSy) in December 2010, as a result of which Botswana Telecommunications Authority announced wholesale tariff reductions on February 8, 2011.  It is further anticipated that more improvements or reductions will be made when Botswana finally connects to the West African Cable System (WACS) through Namibia early 2012. Government invested P69.7 million in EASSy, and P250.5 million in WACS to bring Botswana at par with all countries surrounding her.  Having the major connections done, we would be left with connections to our homes. 

 

 

Dept. of Telecommunications and Postal Services

28.              Nteletsa – I Revamp: - The initial Nteletsa I project was commissioned for service in 2004.  We have since realised that there have been problems which are being addressed to upgrade the system to Nteletsa II standards.

  

29.              Nteletsa – II project has connected One Hundred and Forty Five (145) out of the targeted One Hundred and Ninety Seven (197) Villages to the Be Mobile and Mascom networks.  The Fifty Two outstanding villages will be connected at the end of April 2011.  Forty One Tele-Centres are operational out of the projected One Hundred and Ninety Seven (197).  Sixty Tele-Centres are to be handed over to entrepreneurs, mostly the Youth and Village Development Committees.  The rest of the Tele-Centres are expected to be operational in 2011-2012.  The process for BTC privatisation and the merging of BotswanaPost with Botswana Savings Bank are on-going. 

 

30.              Having presented these updates Madam Chairperson, I now wish to present my Ministry’s budget for 2011/2012.

 

OVERALL BUDGET FOR 2011/2012

31.              The overall proposed budget for my ministry for the year 2011/2012 stands at P3, 639,798,540 (Three billion, six hundred and thirty nine million, seven hundred and ninety eight thousand and five hundred and forty Pula). P1, 509,798,540 (One billion, five hundred and nine million, seven hundred and ninety eight thousand and five hundred and forty Pula) is for recurrent activities whilst P2, 130,000,000 (Two billion, one hundred and thirty million Pula) shall be used in the implementation of various development initiatives.

 

2010/2011 RECURRENT BUDGET

32.              Madam Chairperson, the 2010/2011 Recurrent budget for my Ministry is P1, 496,129,270 (One billion, four hundred and ninety six million, one hundred and twenty nine thousand, and two hundred and seventy Pula). Out of this amount P1, 336, 631,200 (One billion, three hundred thirty-six million, six hundred and thirty one and two hundred Pula) or 89.3% has been spent to date and this figure is expected to exceed 95% of the budget by the close of the financial year.

 

2011/2012 Recurrent Budget

33.              Madam Chairperson, I request this Honourable Committee to approve a total of P1, 509,798,540 (One billion, five hundred and nine million, seven hundred and ninety eight thousand and five hundred and forty Pula) under Recurrent Budget for the year 2011/2012. This will be used as follows:-

 

34.              The Central Transport Organisation (CTO) is given the largest allocation of P697, 569,650 (Six hundred and ninety Seven Million, five Hundred and sixty nine thousand and six hundred and fifty Pula) representing 46.2% of the total recurrent budget. The huge allocation is necessary to cater for the maintenance of Government fleet. Madam Chairperson, the next largest share of P313, 184,900 (Three hundred and thirteen Million, One hundred and eighty four thousand and nine hundred Pula) or 20.7% of my Ministry Recurrent Budget goes to the Department of Roads.  The bulk of the funds is allocated to the maintenance of roads which amounts to P139, 465, 630 constituting 44.5% of the Department’s budget.

 

35.              Madam Chairperson, the Department of Information Technology is allocated P209, 804, 690 or 13.9% of the recurrent budget.

 

36.              The Department of Corporate Services has been allocated P 178,431,380 or 11.8% where P56, 108,730 or 31.4% of the budget is Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana’s subvention.

 

37.              Department of Road Transport and Safety will get P101, 965,040 or 6.8% whereas the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services is allocated the least portion of the budget amounting to P8, 842,880 of the budget being 0.6% of the Ministry’s recurrent budget.

 

38.              Madam Chairperson and Honourable Members, amounts requested for each of the 6 Departments making up the Ministry of Transport and Communications are detailed in the document you have received, the DRAFT 2010/2011 ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURE FROM THE CONSOLODATED AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDS on pages 385 to 402, under relevant Organizations and Accounts. I refer you to this document.

2010/2011 DEVELOPMENT BUDGET

39.              Madam Chairperson, the 2010/2011 Development budget for my Ministry amounts to P2, 092,143,000 (Two billion and ninety two million, one hundred and forty three thousand Pula).  Out of this amount P1, 569,172,839 (One billion, five hundred and sixty nine million and one hundred and seventy two thousand eight hundred and thirty nine) or 80% has been spent to date.

 

40.              There have been delays in some major road projects due to among other reasons: relocation of utility services and expropriation of properties; poor performance of contractors; and lack of construction material in some instances. As a result several projects that were earmarked for completion this financial year are still not completed. These projects include Mopipi and Toromoja access roads and will be completed in the next financial year.

 

41.              However, some major roads have been successfully completed. These include Mopipi-Rakops, Dibete-Mahalapye, Sekoma-Kokotsha, Tsabong-Middlepits, Middlepits-Bokspits, Dutlwe-Morwamosu, Kang-Tsetseng, Mahalapye-Kalamare, and Mogobane-Ranaka/Kanye roads.

 

42.              Final payments for some of these projects will be processed in the coming financial year. 

 

43.              The overall Development Budget Estimates for my Ministry during the 2011/2012 financial year is P 2,130,000,000 (Two billion, one hundred and thirty million Pula). This represents an increase of P37, 857,000 (Thirty seven million, eight hundred and fifty seven thousand Pula) or 1.8% increase from the previous budget. This budget will mainly finance on-going projects.

 

44.              Madam Chairperson, the largest share of my Ministry’s Development Budget is allocated to the Department of Roads at P 1,125,016,833 or 52.8%. This budget shall be used for the completion of the following major projects: Kang-Hukuntsi, Western Bypass Circle to Metsimotlhabe, Nata–Kazungula, Francistown–Ramokgwebana, Gaborone-Tlokweng Border Post, Ngoma-Kachikau and Rakops/Mmadikola access roads.

 

45.              I would also like to propose that some of the funds requested for this Department be used for the construction of the following projects:

 

46.              Sowa Junction-Sowa Pan, improvement of BTV and Rainbow circles, bridge construction at Moshupa, Motloutse, Gatshwane (Butale-Tshesebe and Butale Senyawe) and Kolobeng (Manyana) river. 

 

47.              Madam Chairperson, the second largest share of P470, 100,829 (four hundred and seventy million, one hundred thousand eight hundred and twenty nine) representing 22.1% of my Ministry’s Development budget will be allocated to the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana for air transport infrastructure initiatives at Sir Seretse Khama, Francistown, Maun and Kasane Airports.

 

48.              The third largest share of P263, 889,105 or 12.4% of my Ministry’s development budget will go to the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation’s Finances project to implement Nteletsa II and International Connectivity.

 

 

 

49.              Botswana Railways has been given P100, 000,000 as part of its recapitalisation. This represents 4.7% of the Ministry’s development budget.

 

50.              Madam Chairperson, the remaining P170,993,233 or 8% of my Ministry’s development budget will be used to execute other initiatives at Ministry Headquarters (P81,093,233 or 3.8%), Information Technology (P67,400,000 or 3.2%) and Road Transport and Safety (P2,500,000 or 0.1%)  and Botswana Postal Services (P20,000,000 or 0.9%).

 

IN CONCLUSION:-

51.              Madam Chairperson, this concludes my presentation of the 2011/2012 Recurrent and Development Budgets for my Ministry.  I therefore move that the sum of P1,509,798,540 (One billion, five hundred and nine million, seven hundred and ninety eight thousand and five hundred and forty Pula) for the Recurrent Budget for Head 2400 be approved and stand part of the Schedule of the Appropriation (2011/2012) Bill 2011;

 

 

52.              The  sum of P 2,130,000,000 (Two Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Million Pula) for Head 2400 and Total Estimated Costs for Subheads in Head 2400 in the Development Fund  Estimates be approved and stand part of those Estimates.

 

53.                     I thank you Madam Chairperson.

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