Botswana: Esp to Boost Economy – Van Der Westhuizen

| April 24, 2016

Selebi Phikwe - The Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen has said the official launch of projects under Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) showed government's continued commitment to make strategic investment efforts to Botswana's economy.

Mr Van Der Westhuizen said this during his ministry's launch of ESP projects in Selebi Phikwe on Saturday.

He said Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was committed to delivering the projects in scheduled budget, time and free from defects.

He said it was imperative to ensure that the right tools and resources were put in place to enable timely project implementation. He said each project would be assigned a project manager whose primary responsibility would be to ensure that all work was completed on time, to budget, scope and in line with the given specifications.

He said there was need for all implementing department to understand and internalise the vision of ESP initiative in order for the ministry to deliver the projects and ensure that government intentions to foster economic growth were realised.

He said each project had a programme that would be strictly monitored and adhered to and as a ministry; they anticipated projects completion to register from 16 to 48 weeks depending on the project size.

"We expect first delivery of projects to be in August 2016 while some will be delivered towards the end of the financial year in April 2017,"he said.

He said it was of paramount importance for all projects material to be purchased at local business to boost the local economy and to make local economic development a reality.

Mr Van Der Westhuizen further mentioned that local authorities had been tasked to drive the local economic growth to the newly developed local economic development framework to upgrade the livelihoods of Batswana.

He said all local contractors engaged in the ESP initiative had been encouraged to give priority to residents of Selebi Phikwe and citizens when it came to employment in such projects.

He urged contractor to comply with all labour laws applicable to their personnel including laws relating to their employment, health and safety and health care.

He pleaded with contractors to take responsible precautions to attend to the daily health and safety issues of workers on site and to provide their workers with the appropriate work attire such as hard hat, safety boots, and protective clothing.

He said the all local authorities under the ministry tasked with project implementation must work together as a team in order to realise this objective and to move forward. He said they should monitor and manage the projects accordingly and to deliver all projects in quality.

Meanwhile, when welcoming dignitaries and participants at the launch, the Mayor of Selebi Phikwe, Mr Amogelang Mojuta explained that the mining town was facing challenges because the main economic driver of the town being BCL Mine was facing hard times.

He said that there was a need for the economy of the mining town to be diversified to reduce reliance on BCL Mine which was biggest employer in the mining town.

He mentioned that the Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) had projects in place to help diversify the economy of the region such as tourism projects earmarked for Letsibogo and Dikgatlhong Dam besides other projects undertaken in Selebi Phikwe.

The ground breaking to mark the official commencement of projects under ESP in Selebi Phikwe was done by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Slumber Tsogwane.

The projects include the construction of 20 teachers' houses, four classroom blocks and ablution blocks.

SOURCE: Botswana Daily News.

Category: Governance

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