CLLRS Call for Disability Allowance Review

Jwaneng councillors have called on the government to review the newly introduced disability allowance.

The councillors said although the initiative was good the money was not enough to meet the needs of the beneficiaries.

Speaking during a special council meeting on Friday (July 24), councillors said the funds were too little and that the government should review the programme and increase the funds appropriately.

The programme has been allocated P20 million for the 2015/16 financial year, and it started in April but was delayed due other logistics. The first payments will be made in August with back pays.

The disability monthly cash transfer seeks to target people with severe and profound disability that limit their independence and have low socio-economic status.

The initiative also seeks to restore beneficiaries’ dignity and enhance their well-being through financial assistance.

The initiative requires an assessment with the help of professional medical practitioners to determine the severity of the disability.

In addition to the disability monthly cash transfer, children between the ages of zero to 18 years would be assisted with a food basket and other needs as per the orphans and venerable children programme.

Councillor Bankinyana Montsiemang of Ngami ward applauded the government for introducing the initiative, but said reassessment of the programme would advise the government on how much they should offer to beneficiaries.

Mr Montsiemang said consultation with political leaders would have been vital in decision making because they could have brought suggestions that could add up to a solid decision.

He further said it would not be easy for them as councillors to advise the electorate accordingly on who was eligible to benefit from the programme.

Specially elected councillor, Ms Olga Ditsie was of the view that Botswana Post, which will be the centre for the payments, was not suitable for beneficiaries as it was already overwhelmed by other services.

She said the buildings were old and do not cater for people living with disabilities.

She said the government should look for other alternative ways of paying beneficiaries.

However, the town clerk, Mr Dick Kalantle said beneficiaries would still be covered by other programmes such as the destitute programme and poverty eradication.

He said the role of councillors was to inform the public about the initiative.

Source : BOPA