Opposition give increase of districts thumbs up

Daniel Chida

Last year government made an announcement that it was going to upgrade 22 Subordinate Authorities to fully fledged Councils.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Minister Kgotla Autlwetse, said that 11 Sub-Districts that were approved for upgrading under Phase 1 included, Goodhope, Molepolole, Mogoditshane, Letlhakeng, Mahalapye, Tutume, Boteti, Maun, Okavango, Tsabong and Hukuntsi while the remaining 11 were to be included under the next financial year from April this year. The voice Reporter, DANIEL CHIDA speaks to politicians to get their views on this move.

Taolo Lucas- Member of Parliament for Bobonong

That there was need to physically demarcate districts is not in doubt. Some districts such as Central, Kweneng and Southern were so huge that they were administratively unmanageable. The creation of new districts, if properly managed could improve administrative efficiency and service delivery. There are three things to pay attention to if this development is to yield positive outcomes.

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Physical demarcation of districts should be accompanied by a concomitant devolution of power to the districts so that critical decisions around resource mobilisation, fiscal autonomy, procurement, licensing and local economic empowerment could materialise outside the stranglehold of the central Government.

Operational efficiency could thus be fostered. It is imperative that the creation of new districts is accompanied by the realignment of tribal territories to all for autonomy of traditional leadership in the new districts. This will improve and strengthen collaboration for development in the newly created districts. Legal and administrative reform should be expedited to allow for the optimisation of the benefits of decentralisation.

If the three issues are not expeditiously attended to, the creation of new districts will not yield the desired outcome. The new districts could easily become yet another costly façade with limited value to the populace. We cannot afford that in these challenging economic times.

Ofentse Mafoko- Mogoditshane Sub Council Chairperson

It is a good move looking at issues of budget constraints. Despite Kweneng District being huge, the Sub Districts under it,have not been getting an adequate budget. Again Sub Districts work under delegated powers but now we will finally have the powers to run.

Opposition give increase of districts thumbs up

Kenny Kapinga- MP for Okavango

The creation of Okavango District is most welcome. It is actually long overdue. My area will indeed benefit from the devolution of authority. However, we are disappointed that the Headquarters is stuck in Gumare. It is essential that government fast tracks the relocation of Okavango District headquarters to Shakawe, where it rightfully belongs.

I can’t speak about other districts, but the creation of Okavango District was imperative.

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Opposition give increase of districts thumbs up

David Tshere- MP for Mahalapye West

Upgrading of Mahalapye Sub District to a full district is a thrilling development for us in Mahalapye because majority of the projects that were done here were not up to standard. It was just a shoddy job. I suspect that inexperienced engineers and planners were assigned to our projects but with the upgrading we hope for better qualified people. We have suffered enough.

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