Saturday, March 6, 2021

F’town councilors to petition ministry over poor infrastructure

Francistown City councilors have resolved to send a delegation to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to source funds to improve the city’s infrastructure. Responding to a speech delivered by the city mayor, James Kgalajwe during a full council meeting last week, the councilors expressed concern over poor infrastructure in the city such as, poor storm water drainage systems and dilapidated roads. They said it was high time they approached the ministry over the problems.

The mayor had indicated in his speech that although there are some achievements made by Francistown City Council such as the construction of the Tonota-Francistown road, completion of the Shashe Mooke Bridge and the approval by government to construct a Junior Secondary School in Gerald Estates, the city council was still faced with several challenges due to an insufficient budget.

First it was councilor for Itekeng Ward, Professor Tlou who expressed concern over the poor internal roads in the city. He said that although the construction of the Tonota-Francistown is a welcome development, internal roads within the city are in a terrible state. “We are well aware that the city council is running at a deficit budget but we cannot fold our arms and ignore these problems.

We need to send a delegation to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and source funds. I am happy that the long awaited Tonota Francistown road is currently under construction but my main worry is that the internal roads in Francistown are poor. There is need for these roads to be refurbished to match the construction of the Tonota-Francistown road,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the poor storm water drainage systems in the city saying that they need to be upgraded as they lead to flooding during rainy seasons. Councilor Tabengwa Tabengwa of Ikageleng Ward also raised a similar concern over poor storm drainage systems in the city saying that the problem leads to flood disasters. “We have long addressed the issue of poor storm water drainage systems but nothing seems to bear fruit. We recently experienced flooding in some of the areas in Francistown due to these problems. This issue needs to be treated as urgent as possible because it poses a life hazard to the residents of Francistown.

We should select a delegation to approach the ministry and source funds to upgrade this infrastructure. We have always done so and it works for us,” said a clearly irate Tabengwa. Another Councilor Johnson Moremi of Gerald Estates expressed worry over poor roads in his ward and lack of street lights. He also said that there was need to approach the ministry for funding as the problem is long overdue.

“We do not have enough street lights in Gerald Estates location. The issue of poor storm water drainage system is long overdue and I feel that the Ministry should be engaged to help us with funds. We have long addressed this issue in many meetings and nothing seems to bear fruit,” he said Moremi also pleaded with the city council to upgrade the Gerald Estates ÔÇô Kgaphamadi road as it would help reduce traffic congestion into the city centre.

In conclusion, the mayor reached a consensus with the councilors that there is need to send a delegation to the ministry to seek funds. He also said that he will select a committee that will make sure that all the resolutions that they make in their meetings are implemented. “There is also a worry among some of the councilors, that some of the resolutions that we make in council meetings are not implemented. I will select a committee that will be tasked with ensuring that these resolutions are implemented,” he said.

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