Sowa Town Council Mayor George Maphane end of the year address 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, this year has been a busy one as it was characterised by numerous activities as we were preparing for the commemoration of the golden Jubilee Independence.
In Sowa Town, the Day was successfully commemorated. The activities for the celebration included songs, poetry and dance. Mr. W.S Ongadile, the first District Officer for Sowa Town was the Guest Speaker for the day. The day was sealed off with a football match between two clusters that had ascended to the final after doing well in the soccer tournament that started in August this year.
Despite the successes, challenges were also experienced during the preparation stage. The greatest challenge was lack of enough funds to cover all Implemented activities exactly the way they were planned. Sowa Town had submitted a budget of P190 000.00 and at the end it was allocated P18 028.00 which was very meager and paltry. All the activities that were implemented were done at very severe budget cuts. There were instances where the Independence committee had to plead with performers to perform for close to nothing while in other areas performers were better paid and this made some activities to happen without any entertainment and making the whole exercise very weird. Other activities were forgone due to budgetary constraints.
Bagaetsho as we all know, financial resources are core in any activity, but let bygones be bygones. I take it; it was an eye opener next time we will learn from our experience. None the less, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to convey my special thanks and appreciations to all those who contributed one way or the other towards the success of our Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations. My Sincere gratitude also goes to the Deputy District Commissioner who was coordinating the activities, the Honourable Councillors who graced the occasion in Sowa Town when they could have celebrated it in their villages/towns where they reside.
I’m also indebted to Botswana Ash Pty Ltd, Ladies and Gentlemen for their contribution in the form of cash towards this celebration. Submission of UDP 4 Position Paper to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, following our resolution in September Full Council to submit a position paper to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, on our quest for projects for NDP 11/UDP 4, a delegation led by myself under took a trip to the Minister on 4th November, 2016 to present the position paper. No response was given to us as parliament was still to consider the project submissions in November session. I keep hoping that our submissions will be considered.
Ladies and gentlemen, though we are waiting for the response from the centre, there is need for us locally to come up with means to develop our town. To that end, Council and Botswana Ash PTY Ltd is planning to host a stakeholder conference next year in April where all development partners will meet and engage in discussions to map a way forward.
Update on Poverty Eradication, Ipelegeng and Local Economic Development Programmes
Poverty Eradication Programme
Ladies and Gentlemen, as indicated in my last address, efforts to procure porta cabins to accommodate the beneficiaries of the alternative package projects was not acceded to but none the less the matter is being persuaded with the office of the Poverty Eradication Coordinator.
Ipelegeng Programme
Bagaetsho the programme is being implemented as expected, the only challenge experienced during the second and third quarter was that of not meeting the monthly quota of 64 beneficiaries. None the less I am happy to inform this honourable house that as for December, 2016 the Quota was met and I hope this shall be maintained. Furthermore the District intends to come up with other ways to address the challenge.
Update on Local Economic Development (LED)
Ladies and Gentlemen, as stipulated in my previous address in March, 2016, Sowa Community has not yet started implementing projects under Local Economic Development. However, the Community has identified a catalytic project: Makgadikgadi Scenic view and other complementary projects like construction of a lodge, cultural village and snake park. The implementation of these projects will depend on the availability of funds which should be sourced by the community. As I have informed this Honourable house earlier, such projects are not funded by Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, to facilitate implementation of LED projects in the district, the Pilot Districts need to be capacitated.
To Capacitate the Districts, The Technical Task Teams(TTT) from the four pilot sites, Executive Officers and the
LED Commissioners were trained on Monitoring and Evaluation for Local Economic Development for a period of five(5)
days at a workshop held on 17th -21st October, 2016 in Mahalapye. Another workshop was conducted for LED
Technical Task Team and Chief Executive officers on Value chain mapping and Development at Palapye from 28th
November to 2nd December, 2016. These workshops Ladies and Gentlemen, are essential in implementation of the
above mentioned projects; as such I bank on those who went for training to practice what they have acquired.
Construction of Infrastructure in Block 3 SHHA & Upgrading of Storm water Drainage
Honourable Councillors ladies and gentlemen, there seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The long stalled
project is being revived. The Contractor who has been awarded the project has been invited for a site visit and handover
on 12th December, 2016. The contractor is expected to complete the works within six months. The Contractor will
commence the works on 9th January, 2017.
The upgrading of the storm water drainage component will commerce after completion of the design which will be
completed in April, 2017 and this will depend on the availability of funds.
Economic stimulus Programme (ESP)
Honourable Councillors, Ladies and gentlemen, I’m disappointed to inform this honourable house that the projects are
not yet complete and both Contractors have requested for extension of time. Their requests have been submitted to
Adjudication Committee and the response is awaited. The progress for the classroom block and staff houses stand at