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BCL mine closure hit hard on youth business

The Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development has noted that the closure of the BCL mine has negatively affected youth businesses.

The office is also experiencing an influx of beneficiaries requesting to relocate their businesses out of the town.

Addressing a full council session which ended yesterday, mayor Molosiwa Molosiwa said the ministry continues to spearhead programmes geared towards improving the livelihood of the young people and that during the current financial year six new projects have been funded.

Appraisal and adjudication is still ongoing for the 27 applications.

As council moves to the last quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year Molosiwa said the local authority has been coming up with strategies to improve service delivery and plans to resuscitate the town’s economy.

He said the economic situation of the town dictates that all efforts should be geared towards execution of all the plans in place for the revitalisation of the economy.

Molosiwa added that the town is yet to be funded, for the 2018/2019 financial year, to clear the backlog from the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). However the town has been funded to undertake maintenance of teachers' houses to the tune of P6.5 million.

"This development is greatly welcome as it will significantly make an impact in town. I also acknowledge the introduction of the constituency community development programme. With a tight budget that does not allow us to realise the mandate of infrastructure development and maintenance of facilities and also having to help the Ward Development Committees to sustain themselves, the constituency community development programme becomes a much welcome development," he said.

Molosiwa said only a few projects have been awarded and some are still at adjudication and

70 percent have started, with contractors already on site. He was however concerned that some of the contractors, especially for civil works, are not progressing well.  "Council is working on ways to control the situation," he said.

The mayor also stated that between November and December last year council embarked on a massive exercise of reassessing beneficiaries to the poverty eradication programme to establish whether they still qualify for assistance. Out of the 323 beneficiaries, 141 were assessed and 17 were found to have been funded and three deceased.

"Challenges encountered were that 28 of the targeted clients have relocated to unknown destinations and 80 could not be found,” he added.

Council is also working on addressing the backlog of potholes around the town resulting from the recent torrential rains and road cuts from service providers. Currently maintenance of paved roads, which includes grading of 44 km unpaved roads and grading of primary schools playgrounds is being undertaken. So far 41kms have been covered and five school playgrounds have been completed.

Routine inspection of streetlights metering units is carried out weekly to prepare for recharging and identification of faulty meters to be reported to Botswana Power Corporation.

Molosiwa said this operation is progressing well and most faults identified involved encroachment of tree branches on streetlights wired with bare conductors.

"The electrical division in conjunction with Botswana Power Corporation is currently working on clearing such faults. This has negatively affected the illumination level as half of the streetlights around town are connected through bare conductors,” he added.




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