Although Gaborone City Council (GCC) has received P487,227 to cut the backlog on the poverty eradication exercise, mayor Kagiso Thutlwe said his office does not have a full report on progress made through programme by beneficiaries.
Addressing councillors during a full council meeting yesterday, Thutlwe said there are those whose packages were incomplete during the previous procurement as funds got depleted.
“Honourable councillors, it is unfortunate that my office is not in possession of the full report on the progress of the poverty eradication exercise.
‘We have been left in the dark in regard to the success or failure of this initiative.
“We don’t even have the information regarding the beneficiaries who have been successfully uplifted from extreme poverty to poverty or poverty to being well- off and are now able to fend for themselves,” said Thutlwe.
He said they expected the suppliers the council had signed contracts with to start supplying 106 beneficiaries with equipment and materials when operations start by October 2.
“Out of the 106 beneficiaries, 19 are from Gaborone Bonnington North, 15 for Gaborone Central, 14 for Gaborone North, 30 for Gaborone South and 28 for Gaborone Bonnington South for seven different business packages,” he said.
On the issue of Youth Development Fund (YDF), the mayor said: “Again it is with regret that my office was not furnished with information regarding the success rate of the programme since its inception”.
“The story of the programme remains a forbidden tale. We do not know how much money has gone to waste under this programme,” he said.
He said no information as to how many beneficiaries had expanded their projects or those who graduated from YDF to CEDA has been availed to his office.
He said according to information he was given, youth projects still faced lack of market, inadequate monitoring of projects, lack of appropriate operational space, high rentals, lack of entrepreneurial skills by beneficiaries as well as lack of commitment by some project beneficiaries.
He said some youth-owned projects fail to pay back their loan component for funding.
On the issue of council financial position, GCC approved budget was P321,106,430 and so far it had expended P111, 322,303.15, which represents 36 percent of the total budget.
He said with regard to rate arrears, the council collected P33,817,614.86 between April and August 2015.
“A total of P20,510,549.19 was collected in-house, while P7,279,893.68 and P2,410,291.47 were collected through First National Bank and Barclays Bank."