Monday, March 1, 2021

“We need economic transformation not economic stimulus” – Ndaba Gaolatlhe

Umbrella for Democratic Change Vice President Ndaba Gaolatlhe said Botswana needs an Economic Transformation not the recently introduced Economic Stimulus Package.

Ndaba told The Telegraph shortly after President Ian Khama presented the State of the Nation Address on Monday that every year the State President has the duty to present to the nation the state of the health of the economy; the state of the health of the people and also provide a road map for the way forward for the country.

 “First of all I believe there is no plan on the table because every plan must have a figure attached to it. We have to know how much money is the government spending on this Economic Stimulus Package but also is this Economic Stimulus Package over and above the normal planning process of the government? Is it over and above the normal budget? These issues are not clear,” Gaolatlhe said.

He emphasised that what is important now is to transform the economy. This means that government needs to revise, sharpen institutions that are responsible for the quality of projects coming out of government.

“It has never been a problem of shortage of money. For example after spending billions of pula in Morupule B we still have to deal with a challenge of providing Batswana with power. The money was there but we did not have the right people in the right places we did not have the right institutions to make sure that these plans are implemented within budget and within the time frame,” said Gaolatlhe.

He said government already knows that there is water and power crisis therefore government must know that they need to invest significantly in water and power. 

“There is no country in the world that has successfully invested in water and power without proper regulatory independent oversight. We need to put up a power and water regulator. We need to make sure that government has the right capacity, the right capabilities to conceive and implement large scale infrastructure projects. It is not a question of money, it is a question of transforming institutions, and it’s a question of transforming mindset, methods and process,” he said.

Gaolatlhe said between 2008 and 2014 government has spent more than 345 billion Pula. 

“Despite the fact that we spent so much money unemployment has actually worsened from 17 percent to more than 20 percent,” said Gaolatlhe.

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