PALAPYE: Palapye deputy chief, Michael Maforaga, has decried financial constraints afflicting Dikgosi as they are burdened with a lot of work.
Maforaga appealed to the Minster of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane, to increase their budgets as Dikgosi during the Ministry‘s open day held Tuesday at the new Palapye bus/taxi terminal.
He said the current budget does not meet the resources of their daily tasks as Dikgosi, moreso that they handle a lot of issues and play a leading role in the community.
He indicated that the role of the Tribal Administration has changed tremendously over the years. He added that initially their role as Dikgosi was to maintain law and order in their respective communities. But he said ever since the government decentralised some of its departments they have been entrusted with many roles yet resources have not been increased to meet those roles.
“We have been lately identified as people who are not happy, yes we are unhappy because as Dikgosi we are taken lightly, but we do need our job to be evaluated and be given a job description as well as the benefits befitting our status,” he said.
Kgosi noted that they no longer know what they are supposed to do, for instance, when someone needed a loan at the bank they are referred to Dikgosi first, when they transfer their plots or request for plots they are referred to Dikgosi as well.
In addition, issues of deaths that are supposed to be handled at the Ministry of Home Affairs are referred to them which indeed proves that they are being burdened. He also complained that their offices are old and needed to be renovated.
“It is about time our role is recognised and we are moved from being beggars to what we really are, ‘the community administrators’. We do appeal to the minister that by the time we do estimates, he appoints a commission to look at our financial votes because 10% annual increment will not take us where we want to go,” added Maforaga.
On his part, Tsogwane accused the Tribal Administration department of always complaining yet the government is doing a lot to improve their circumstances.
“As Batswana we need to learn to appreciate good things that happen around us otherwise it will be a generational curse and we will be labelled as the nation that never appreciates. We need to be patriotic if we are to move forward,” he said.
“Some countries even come here to benchmark on how we run our Tribal Administration system. This should in many ways tell us that we are doing at least something right if not many things to the praises and appreciation of foreigners,” Tsogwane noted.
However he said he would take on board the Kgosi’s concerns.