The Leader of Opposition, Botsalo Ntuane, has lent support to Member of Parliament for South East South, Odirile Motlhale, calling for a Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Ntuane, in his response to President Ian Khama’s State of the Nation address, said the time has come to set up a CDF, as is the practice in many democracies in the Commonwealth. To this end, Motlhale has noticed a private members bill advocating for the establishment of a CDF.
“This scheme is earmarked for constituencies to finance development projects determined by the community. Development practitioners have outlined the benefits of a CDF in terms of empowering communities to define their own developmental priorities in activities where the central government is not involved,” Ntuane said.
Ntuane holds that in addition to promoting better local governance and service delivery, the CDF addresses micro developmental needs of a specific community with government only having to concern itself with macro issues which require bigger budgets.
Further, the MP for Gaborone West South said the CDF can also be utilised for job creation, maintenance of basic infrastructure, youth training, poverty reduction and other small scale community projects.
“In our estimation, if each constituency were granted P2 million per annum, our constituents would be able to take active participation in civic affairs fully knowing they have funds at their disposal with which to improve the communities in which they live. Though Hon Motlhale has noticed, this is an idea which should enjoy the support of every single legislator because it will go a long way in improving our effectiveness as representatives of the people,” Ntuane said.
He urged parliament, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, to arrange for a benchmarking exercise in the Commonwealth to facilitate the inclusion of the CDF in Budget 2012.