Just like any other development ward and villages which still cry out loud for lack of internal roads, shortage of water, unemployment amongst others, Boseja South residents in the Mochudi East, Metsimotlhabe at Gabane/ Mmankgodi constituency, Lentsweletau West at Lentsweletau/Mmopane constituency and Moshupa East at Moshupa/Manyana constituencies have also joined the chorus.
Residents of the four wards who will be voting their preferred candidates on December 18, 2021, hope that may be their cry will be heard better if they have a councillor. Some of the wards have not had representatives for over a year. Therefore, they had no one to take their greviances to the council and they were forced to rely only on their Members of Parliament (MPs), which was not easy as the MPs cover the whole constituency. Even though vacancies for council seats are supposed to be held within three months, the vacancies for the 11 council seats could not be filled or elections held due to the lockdown and stringent COVID-19 measures.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) aspirant candidate, Gomolemo Gouwe complained about bad internal roads which he said worsen especially during the rainy season with some people ending up failing to access their homes or yards. “Internal roads for this ward need to be paved so that residents could have better access roads. Even the wastewater drainage system is poor. Boseja South ward has a high population and that is one of the reasons why it has a high unemployment rate. Another issue that is troubling our residents is the long distance that some students travel to school. That is the reason why we need a third primary school,” Gouwe lamented.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Masego Ramakgathi acknowledged that some of the problems that hinder councils to develop some areas include procurement and tendering processes, slow implementation of programmes and projects. He said overpricing by local suppliers also hinder business growth.
He said the ministry has intervention measures in place which include; “development of the ministry’s strategy and transformation plan which should adequately respond to the constant feedback provided about service delivery and resource constraints. Anchored on six pillars such as improving organisational performance through monitoring and evaluation, digital transformation as providing effective and efficient local services and infrastructure. Decentralisation is equally seen as a giant leap toward ensuring efficiency at the local level as Local Authorities will evolve and sustain themselves.
Broader and wider consultation undertaken by the ministry across the country on the Decentralisation Policy.” Some of the interventions are local economic development framework which will assist in building resilient, inclusive and sustainable local economies.
The National Social Protection Framework (NSPF) will ensure provision of inclusive and shock responsive social protection services, revenue maximisation strategies to assist local authorities to generate revenue and augment Revenue Support Grant (RSG). Local authorities are thus implored to come up with revenue generation strategies to sustain themselves, digital transformation within ministry and Local Authorities to facilitate business, enhance customer service and swift response to customer needs and the need to leverage on ICT to improve service delivery.
He said recently they adopted two pieces of legislation on public procurement and economic inclusion that should stimulate and accelerate economic growth at the local level and promote rural development. In addition, Ramakgathi said councils have a political forum of elected and nominated councillors spearheading district development issues and providing an array of social services to communities in their respective localities.