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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Isssue No. 1 of 2011
11/02/11

Budgeting for Poverty Eradication

Welcome once more to your weekly window into the Presidency. The highlight of the past week was the presentation of Government’s Budget for the 2011/12 financial year before Parliament by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Kenneth Matambo. H.E. the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama was among those who attended Parliament for the presentation on Monday.

His Excellency also attended Parliament on Tuesday, in order to nominate and take part in the election of Dr. Gloria Somolekae as a new Specially Elected Member. In accordance with the Constitution, Dr. Somolekae was elected by members of the house to fill the seat that was recently vacated by the Hon. Lesego Motsumi, who had resigned to take up a diplomatic appointment.

Budget Address

In his presentation of the 2011/12 Budget, the Hon. Minister of Finance and Development Planning underscored the Executive Branch’s continued commitment to prudent management of public revenues. Total expenditure for the coming year will be just of P 41 billion, of which P 30.3 billion is for recurrent expenses and P 10.7 is for development projects.

With projected revenues of P 34.1 billion it is expected that there will be a deficit during the coming year. The revenue shortfall, which is in line with Government’s previous projections, is a reflection of the fact that the economy is still emerging from the recent global downturn.

With the recovery of the mining sector and a stable growth outlook for the rest of the economy, the Minister was in a position to once more reassure his listeners that the medium term economic prospect for our country remains sound. Diamond sales in 2010 were 33 percent greater than in 2009 and are further expected to recover to pre-recession levels by 2013.

In the above context, it is now forecasted that the economy will grow by 6.8 percent in 2011 and 7.1 percent in 2012 based on further projections of growth in the mining sector.

In line with H.E. the President’s most recent State of the Nation Address, as well as last year’s Budget Address, the Minister further assured Parliament that Government remained committed to obtaining a balanced budget by 2013. Achieving this goal, while preserving public sector jobs and ongoing projects will, however, require continued belt-tightening, including wage restraint, in the coming year. 

As has been the case for many years the largest slice of the recurrent budget will go to education and training in line with Government’s sustained commitment to invest in the nation’s most precious resource – its people.

Another highlight of the address was the announcement that Government will be devoting an additional P100 million drawn from the Alcohol Levy Fund to further finance its poverty eradication initiatives during the coming year.

Also during the week

Throughout the week His Excellency continued with his busy schedule of Ministry Briefings, meeting with the Ministries of Labour and Home Affairs; Minerals, Energy and Water Resources; Agriculture; and Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. He also found time for tone setting meetings with the recently appointed Ministers and Assistant Ministers of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration and Defence, Justice and Security.
   
On Thursday afternoon the President was pleased to receive the letters of accreditation from the incoming Ambassadors of the European Union and the Republic of Ireland.

Tomorrow the President will join other members of his party at a political rally in Molepolole.

In other news this Office is pleased to report that His Honour the Vice President, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe, continues to make good post-operative progress.

At the same time we were obliged to deny a private press report that we expected him to be released from hospital this week. As we go to press he is still under care. We suspect that the report confused His Honour with Former President Sir Ketumile Masire, who was admitted and has now been discharged from hospital.

Meanwhile, tomorrow His Honour the Acting Vice President, P.H.K. Kedikilwe, will Officially Open the Ebrahim and Mariam Dada Clinic in Kanye.

We were also quite surprised by another newspaper report, published this week, in which it was suggested that the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Mokgweetsi Masisi was somehow spearheading a campaign against a certain UK NGO that has been involved in issues pertaining to the CKGR. No such campaign exists.

Matters pertaining to the Game Reserve, moreover, do not fall under the Hon. Minister Masisi’s portfolio of responsibilities and are otherwise being handled by other stakeholders, in particular the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.

 

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