Somewhere in this edition we carry stories about the visit of assistant Minister in the office of the President, Hon Phillip Makgalelemele to Maun and his interaction with stakeholders responsible for dessimination of information and services, to some of the over 400,000 identified Batswana who live in abject poverty.
These services are in the form of entrepreneurial packages that are given to the poor to start business services mainly to government supported entities such as schools and local clinics.
The government had set itself a deadline of 2017 to complete the distribution of these packages as well as to train the beneficiaries in running SMME’S. This noble idea is indeed reflective of a serious government’s commitment to both identifying abject poverty and dealing with it in its robust poverty eradication drive.
However to learn that almost four months into the year of promise, we still have a backlog of cases dating back to 2012, that is five years ago, is worrisome and perhaps calls for introspection.
There is no doubt that the poverty eradication projects could work for the beneficiaries and their communities, but we need to take a closer look at the system that is supposed to deliver the goods, the public service. Is it pulling in the right direction
How many programmes and policies with good intentions have gone to waste, failed to progress as a result of noncommital to deliver by the public service in our country!
This is despite the fact that the public officers, especially those dealing with the needy are widespread and can be found in or near every village or settlement.
Could they also be feeling jealous of the poor beneficiaries who often do not know their rights? What is clear is that if well delivered these poverty eradication projects will have near magical effects, transforming poverty stricken families into a people that can fend for themselves and hold their heads up high with dignity. Surely more can be done by those responsible to ensure the government projects for those disadvantaged take off without further delay.