77% of the budget goes to water projects
Out of a total of P19.31 billion proposed for the Development Budget, 17 percent (P3.29 billion) being the largest share has been allocated to the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services to support initiatives aimed at improving the availability of water supply, as well as wastewater and sludge management.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Mathambo in his address of the national Budget Speech on Monday, February 5th, 2018, said that one of the main projects to be implemented in the budget is the North-South Carrier 2 from Palapye -Mmamashia- Gaborone, which is meant to provide adequate water to the southern part of Botswana.
“The water projects account for P2.51 billion or 77 percent of the Ministry’s allocation,” Matambo said.
He also highlighted that the proposal includes Botswana Emergency Water Security and Efficiency project financed through the recently approved loan of USD145.50 million from the World Bank.
The Minister was quoted saying that Water Utilities Corporation, has been allocated P562 million to cover operational costs and restructuring of the Corporation.
The remaining 23 percent of the Ministry budget goes towards land projects, particularly land servicing countrywide.
The second largest share went to the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security, which stood at P2.78 billion while that of Transport and Communications got the third largest share of P2.66 billion.
Coming in fourth place is the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, which is allocated P2.52 billion of which, P863.34 million (34 percent)is proposed for implementation of the North West Electricity Transmission Grid.
Other Ministries, of Local Government and Rural Development and independent departments, got P2.25 billion and P5.80 billion respectively.
On total expenditure and net lending for the previous financial year, the Minister said they amounted to P56.27 billion showing a 1.3 percent decline in the revised budget estimate.
Of the total amount, recurrent expenditure amounted to P41.17 billion compared to P39.66 billion in the revised budget, representing an increase of 3.8 percent.
Giving a pressing response to the Minister’s speech immediately after the address, Member of Parliament and Leader of Opposition in Cabinet, Duma Boko said there were crucial answers that the state needed to provide,such as the exact number of jobs that are going to be created in the next 12 months and beyond.
Boko also expressed concern over the low minimum wage bracket which he said was the lowest in the region.
“When we get into power we will revise upwards, the living wage, to no less than P3000.00 per month,” he said adding that the latter is but one of the simple propositions put before government