Francistown City Council (FCC) has resolved to come up with more sound strategies to try and supplement its ailing budget.
According to its financial report, FCC is currently running on a deficit budget of P114 million. The report states that from the P236 million Revenue Support Grant that the council had initially requested from government, it was granted a share of P122 million of the 2012 – 2013 national budget.
During the review session of the budget on Friday, the councilors decried lack of funds as one of the factors that continues to hinder the developments in the city and impact on the economy of Francistown.
“We need to come up with sound strategies to try and mitigate this situation and create revenue for the city council as we cannot entirely depend on government for funds,” said Ignatius Moswaane of Monarch location.
He advised council to exploit investment opportunities in the city, such as building warehouses and renting out of unused council premises, to try and generate funds. He suggested that FCC utilises its plots in the Dumela Industrial area where it can build warehouses to lease out to clients and generate funds.
“In schools like Monarch Primary School, Pelotelele Primary School and Ntshe, we do have empty classes that are vacant. We can rent out the classes to private academic institutions and generate funds,” he added.
Moswaane also advised the council to be prudent on the usage of council facilities and equipment to try and be cost efficient.
One of the councilors, James Kgalajwe, of Satillite South, also expressed concern, saying that it is high time that councilors come up with more creative ideas to supplement the insufficient council budget. He said that the councilors should consider the fact that the government is currently reeling under a recession and does not have enough funds.
“It is evident that the Revenue Support Grant that we have been receiving from the government is declining each year, therefore it is on us as councilors to wake up and do something for our council and our people,” he said.
Kgalajwe also suggested that FCC should come up with an investment committee to try and advice council on how it can invest and bring in more funds to supplement the council budget.