Opposition Members of Parliament, Wynter Mmolotsi and Haskins Nkayigwa last week dismissed government’s poverty eradication projects as nothing more than a campaign tool used by the ruling party to buy votes, adding that the projects cost government a lot of money with very little return on investment.
The two MPs backed Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Phillip Makgalemele into a tight corner as he battled to refute their assertion that government’s poverty eradication initiatives are not bearing fruit because the returns on investment are not commensurate with the millions that are pumped into the projects. Makgalemele explained that 1,169 people had benefitted from government’s poverty eradication programs in Gaborone, with the Gaborone South constituency having the highest number of beneficiaries at 498. 244 people benefitted from the project in Gaborone North, 81 in Gaborone Central, 198 in Gaborone Bonnington North and 157 in Gaborone Bonnington.
“3,235 beneficiaries are still on the waiting list,” said Makgalemele.
He further revealed that of the 673 projects that are currently operational, 58 are success stories, realizing profits beyond expectation. He added that the current priority for his Ministry is to clear the backlog of beneficiaries who are awaiting training; and to complete funding for projects that have been partially funded.
“Once the backlog has been cleared, funds for new projects will be disbursed,” Makgalemele concluded.