Government has made a proposal to increase the number of offices of Ministers and Assistant Ministers with two more additional offices for each category.
According to Bill No2 of 2016 on Ministerial Offices (maximum number) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 published on 5th February 2016 and signed by Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale the object of the Bill is to increase the number of Ministers from 16 to 18.
The same Bill says that the number of Assistant Ministers will increase from from 8 to 10.
Without going into detail, the proposed increase in the offices of Minister and Assistant Ministers of the Government is expected to enable President Ian Khama to assign responsibility for the business of Government by reviewing Ministries whose portfolios are too wide with the view to reducing the mandate, whilst at the same time presenting an opportunity to create new Ministries which will cater for priority areas or emerging areas of responsibility.
Section 50 (4) of the constitution provides that a Minister shall be responsible, for such business of the government of Botswana as the President may assign to him or her.
Section 2 of the Ministerial offices (Maximum Number Act) provides that the number of offices of Ministers of the government of Botswana shall not exceed eight.
In another bill – Bill No.3 of 2016 Constitution (Amendment) Bill, which was also published on the 5th February 2016, it also proposed to increase the number of specially elected Members of Parliament from 4 to 6.
The Bill suggests that the economy of Botswana continues to grow in size and in complexity therefore the increase in number of Specially Elected Members of Parliament will provide a window of opportunity for the National Assembly, and by extension cabinet, to increase the number of members with the necessary expertise and skills to manage a modern and complex economy.
The Bill is also by Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale.