Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen, says community empowerment is local government’s core business.
He encouraged government institutions to purchase local business products to improve their lives. Mr Van Der Westhuizen made the appeal in a kgotla meeting he addressed in Molapowabojang last week.
He said community empowerment was high on the policy agenda, adding that community development was about building active and sustainable communities based on social justice and mutual respect.
The assistant minister, who is also the MP for Kgalagadi South said it was about changing power structures to remove barriers that prevent people from participating in issues that affect their daily businesses in communities.
He said local government was leading the drive to enable more people to play an active role in the decisions that affect their communities.
He said government has ushered various programmes to uplift the lives of Batswana and that Batswana and other government departments should buy their products.
The minister stated that market days should be hold every month to advertise local products.
He said most of products were good and durable as opposed to some of the exports. He encouraged small business people to clean their surroundings and that they should also be smart and clean.
He advised council officials to assist the youth with licenses without delay because they were impatient. He was concerned that some of poverty eradication projects were lacking behind.
Kgosi Kedirile Letshabo decried the bad situation of internal roads in the village. He said during the rainy season the roads were impassable. He said tribal administration was running short of vehicles which could assist in daily businesses.
Commenting, villagers were worried about stock theft cases in their area. They said the culprits were well known and always given bail. They said stock theft cases should be presided by dikgosi.
Residents were also concerned about late payment of Ipelegeng employees and the late delivery of materials.
However, some council officers appealed to residents to report issues to their offices rather than waiting for kgotla meetings addressed by ministers.