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Decentralisation experiences teething problems in Palapye

Staff Writer
PALAPYE: Though the Central District Council (CDC) experienced a milestone in its quest to deliver services to the people, it is encountering challenges associated with decentralisation.

Shortage of resources, which had been haunting the district even before decentralisation was introduced, is being felt in the new administrative authorities including Palapye.

Chairman of the Palapye Administrative Authority councillor Onneetse Ramogapi indicated that they have experienced a serious shortage of resources, which has hindered their drive to meet people's expectations.

"We were told to go and implement but there was no package with which to implement the new development.

Establishment package could have been put in place before the decentralisation was implemented. Because that was not done we still share the only available resources with Serowe," he explained.

The vast CDC is allocated a budget, which it later sub-divides among the sub districts. Ramogapi feels that instead of being routed through the main district administration, the budget should be allocated straight to the sub districts. The decentralisation of the CDC came after the Venson Commission that sought to improve service delivery in local authorities. It was recommended that some villages become service centres, some sub councils and some were recommended to become administrative authorities.

Palapye Administrative Authority services villages of Kgagodi, Diloro, Topisi and Radisele and many others.  

The administrative authority was allocated P83

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million against its initial request of P123 million. "I foresee a serious challenge once the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) starts to operate because we will be required to service the institution yet our resources are already overwhelmed," he said.

He added that Palapye is growing at such a fast pace that council cannot deliver services at the same pace. For instance as the town expands there is need for more road networks yet there are no resources to ensure successful implementation of projects.

Ramogapi, however, hailed the exercise and said it is all about enhanced service delivery to the people. "Imagine the expenses that were incurred by people travelling from as far as Lerala only to pay P10 water bills in Palapye," he observed.

Since the introduction of the decentralisation process Palapye Administrative Authority has embarked on a campaign to take the council to the people. Its officers recently went to Maokaatuma and Lerala in its concerted efforts to take services to various communities under its jurisdiction.

Ramogapi said before decentralisation CDC was covering a vast area with a high population, hence it was not very effective.



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