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Khama Praises ESP

Khama Praises ESP
GRATITUDE: President Khama

Programme allocated P2.2 billion budget

President Ian Khama has praised the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) saying it remains a Government priority with an allocated budget of P2.2 billion.

During his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Khama listed the awarding of majority of projects to citizen contractors, the completion of projects and employment creation, as proof of ESP’s achievements over the last year.

“Significant progress has been made in the overall execution of ESP projects, as over 80 percent of the 2016/17 planned projects have been started and some completed, covering the maintenance and expansion of Senior and Junior Secondary Schools; as well as backlog eradication in provision of classrooms, teachers quarters and ablution blocks in 139 primary schools country wide,” HE said.

In what was his last SONA address before he steps down, Khama highlighted other successful projects such as the construction of 30 Customary Courts and minimal and peripheral land servicing.

He revealed that there has been significant progress in the construction of houses for health care workers, with 127 houses currently being built.

“This translates into a total of 41 contractors having been engaged; thus meeting Government’s objective of employing as many small contractors as possible throughout the country,” continued Khama, adding that 27 clinics, which are currently at the design stage, will be constructed across the country.

“We are also constructing three Agricultural Service Centres. And at the end of March 2017, the total number of citizens employed under ESP stood at 20,287, which was 99.2% of the overall total number of people employed under the programme.”

He said that the implementation of ESP projects is further boosting job creation through procurement of local products and services.

However, it was not all positive news, as Khama himself admitted, saying, “Notwithstanding the overall success of the ESP initiative, some projects experienced delays due to capacity constraints, non-compliance to EDD policy, delays in delivery of materials and poor performance by contractors.”

He said that lessons learned from such bottlenecks are now being used to improve ongoing delivery.

Khama added that a National Local Economic Development Framework and Action Plan has been adopted to guide and coordinate the planning and implementation of the Local Economic Development (LED), which is expected to facilitate local economic growth and job creation.