Francistown mayor, Billy Buti, called on councilors to be careful when utilizing funds as the city is equally feeling the effects of the global recession.
He addressed a fully-attended Full Council Session at the council chambers in Francistown Civic Centre last week.
Buti said that it was very important for council members to observe and comprehend that challenges were a reality in each and every organization, therefore the city of Francistown was no exception.
“Our central aim is to provide a world class service, it is, however, quite unfortunate that we are currently faced with a global financial crisis, which has resulted in a widespread global recession,” said Buti.
He further projected that the effects of the global recession have resulted in a sharp decline in private demand, especially in the industrial economies. Buti reminded the meeting that the aftermath continued to affect Francistown, mainly because there was reduction in property charges and lower mineral exports.
“It is, therefore, going to be crucial for all of us to find innovative ways of addressing our developmental needs within the limited expected revenues,” he said.
Regarding the recurrent budget that was presented in the last full council meeting on the 4th of February, the mayor indicated that from the P205 million for the years 2009 to 2010, the council had to cut down the initial figure P212, which translated to a decrease of 4.23% of the initial proposed budget.
The mayor further informed council that the approved revenue support grant for the current year 2008/9 was P120, 852,262 and this has been increased by 40.47%.
“The revenue support grant is increased mainly because of personnel emoluments which form 29% of the budget, introduction of the scarce skills allowance and increased number of new posts due to O&M exercised and also councilors termination allowance and relief of destitutes,” said Buti.
He added that despite an increase in the revenue support grant, some major votes have been drastically cut due to support constraints, which include the maintenance of roads, replacement of vehicles, lighting, gas and water, legal technical advice, security services and teaching materials for disabled pupils.