Something interesting caught the eye over the last week as Parliamentary debates and budget presentations by the various Ministries continued.
Poverty eradication appeared at least in two Ministries; the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, and the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs. One can also expect more on the subject from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture, when their budget presentations come before parliament.
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs reported that a total of 1659 Batswana have been assisted with funds and materials under the Poverty Eradication and Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme, to venture into economic activities.
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs also reported that out of 1480 projects funded under the Poverty Eradication Programme, 1028 are fully operational, 452 under development, 825 still awaiting funding, while 73 have collapsed. P16 million was used. Another 1277 beneficiaries were also funded at P7 million. Over and above, 67 women’s groups were funded at P13752, 958.07 Meanwhile Minister Eric Molale for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, reported that 36, 196 beneficiaries have to date enrolled for the Poverty Eradication Initiatives. According to Molale 12 841 backyard and alternative packages have been funded. While we are aware that Poverty Eradication Initiatives is at the heart of President Ian Khama, reporting about the initiatives should not be confusing and seemingly contradictory especially when reporting to parliament. A case in point is the figures presented by the two Ministries to parliament, which seem to contradict one another.
One would appreciate it if during overall presentation of the state of affairs of the poverty eradication initiatives, the Office of The President shows the figures from the various Ministries, such as Labour and Home Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development Agriculture, and others that are running Poverty eradication projects.
This can avoid piece-meal reporting, and help the public appreciate the multi-pronged approach to poverty eradication by the government of the day.
We need to hear and read more about the initiatives to help Batswana out of all levels of poverty, especially during the on-going budget session. We also hope to see significant rise in allocations for Poverty Eradication Initiatives.
Without seeming to throw the baby with water, if truth be told the figures given by the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, as funds allocated for poverty eradication, are shameful, to say the least, considering how many Batswana need to be helped to rise from all levels of poverty.