The Mayor of Francistown, James Kgalajwe, has expressed concern over the rising number of unemployed in the city, which, in turn, is breeding crime.
Addressing a full council meeting last week, Kgalajwe said the unemployment rate in Francistown currently stands at 18 percent, a figure which he said is highly disturbing.
“This high unemployment rate has resulted in the escalation of criminal activities in the city. According to the statistics from the Police No 15 District, from January to September this year, there were 244 cases of burglary and theft, 193 cases of breakings and theft, 142 store breakings and 67 robberies,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the rise in fatal accidents. He implored the councillors to join hands with the police in fighting crime as the police cannot manage the situation alone without their support.
On a different note, Kgalajwe revealed that FCC has resolved to lease its closed abattoir to try and mitigate the challenge of not having an abattoir in the city.
“Preparations for the invitations to lease the council abattoir are currently ongoing. The invited companies would have to maintain the abattoir and make it operational,” he said.
Kgalajwe added that communication with concerned parties, being the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Ministry of Local Government, is currently on-going.
The 28-year-old abattoir was closed down early last year after the Department of Veterinary Services and the City Council Engineering Department deemed the building unfit for the slaughter of animals. The building was also found to be hazardous to employees due to its dilapidated state. A refurbishment of the facility was then recommended at an estimated cost of P17 million.
FCC has constantly decried shortages of funds as a challenge in refurbishing this abattoir.
Touching on other issues, the Mayor said that FCC continues to support registered beneficiaries of the social upliftment programmes under different categories. He said 458 destitute persons, 509 orphans, 209 home-based care patients have been registered to date and are receiving their monthly rations under the coupon system.
Kgalajwe raised concern over the relocation of the Health Management Team (HMT) from Francistown to Tonota saying that it has created challenges in terms of monitoring the health services in Francistown and has significantly affected the communications with the vital institutions like council offices, Nyangabwe Referral Hospital and the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS).
“This problem has been brought to my attention and to the District Commissioner. The Health Management Team needs support from our offices to find space from where it can better coordinate the health service delivery,” he added.