Monday, October 26, 2020

Construction to receive huge chunk of ESP budget

MACHANENG ÔÇô A huge chunk of the controversial Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) budget could be spent in the construction sector, according to a speech given by President Ian Khama at the launch of the programme over the weekend.

Compared to other sectors, the construction sector was repeatedly mentioned in Khama’s speech at the launch and in previous addresses, heightening expectations that the construction sector will receive a large chunk of the budget, which has been limping for some time. The country’s construction sector was hit hard by the 2008 recession and has not been able to revitalize ever since. The situation was worsened by government’s decision to shelve most of its development projects some three years back. Over the weekend, Khama read out a number of construction projects which he said will be constructed under various ministries. 

“The Local Government and Rural Development Ministry will construct an additional 401 classrooms, 1,280 toilets and 486 teachers’ houses in 123 schools across all districts. There will also be 30 offices constructed for Customary Courts countrywide. The Ministry will also construct internal roads in Tutume, Gabane and Kang,” he said.

Under the Ministry of Education, Khama said government will construct 1,153 new classrooms in primary and secondary schools, along with an additional 175 science labs and 1,280 upgraded ablution facilities. 

“We shall further construct 5885 new teacher’s quarters.” 

Other construction projects under the ESP include new hospitals in Moshupa and Shakawe, as well as upgrading and maintenance of various health facilities. The Health Ministry is expected to construct a further 534 new nurses’ quarters. Although the total budget of the ESP has not been made public, speculation is rife that government will spend at least P1.43 billion in the current financial year as well as P2.2 billion in the 2016/17 financial year.

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