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Government has proposed a development budget of twelve billion, seven hundred and thirty million Pula (P12.73 billion) for implementation of infrastructure development projects.
Delivering the 2023/24 budget, Finance Minister Peggy Serame reiterated that government will continue to devote more resources to infrastructure development to support sustainable growth and improve livelihoods.
“In the 2023/2024 financial year we will significantly increase the development budget as we strive to fill infrastructure gaps and implement projects that are necessary to unlock constraints to economic growth,” Serame noted.
She explained that government’s decision to allocate the largest share of the development budget to the implementation of infrastructure projects is influenced by the recognition that infrastructure development is a critical enabler for enhanced productivity and sustainable economic growth.
This she said will also promote the active participation of the private sector, women, youth and citizens more generally, all in pursuit of building resilience, strengthening inclusiveness and increasing growth.
“Since Botswana is strategically positioned in Southern Africa, this presents a great opportunity for us to play a significant role in the development of regional infrastructure projects, as we did with the Kazungula Bridge. It is therefore crucial for all those involved in the delivery of infrastructure projects to ensure that this is done efficiently and effectively.”
Infrastructure Development is among the six (6) national priorities that guided the 2023/2024 budget identified in the Transitional National Development Plan.
Meanwhile, the proposed development budget for 2023/2024 is P21.01 billion which is an increase of 27.88 % over the 2022/2023 budget. Serame noted that government will, through this proposed budget, invest in economic and social infrastructure necessary to support economic activities in order to stay on track to achieving high-income status by 2036, as well as sustaining livelihoods for the most vulnerable groups of the society.
The largest share of the proposed development budget went to the Ministry of Lands and Water Affairs amounting to P6.07 billion, or 28.89 percent. The funds are for implementation of major water projects.
The Ministry of Transport and Public Works has been allocated the second largest share of the proposed Development Budget amounting to three billion, one hundred and seventy million Pula (P3.17 billion) or 15.09 percent. The budget will cater for on-going major roads projects and construction of some roads across the country through either the conventional method or the Development Manager Model.
“Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works has been allocated the second largest share of the proposed Development Budget amounting to three billion, one hundred and seventy million Pula (P3.17 billion) or 15.09 percent.
Mr. Speaker, the proposed budget allocation will also cater for the construction of the following roads through either the conventional method or the Development Manager Model: Mmandunyane-Shashemooke-Borolong-Chadibe-Mathangwane; Mogoditshane Gabane-Mmankgodi; Boatle-Lobatse; Palapye-Martins Drift; Nata-Kasane; Makalamabedi-Motopi; Nata-Maun Reconstruction; Francistown-Nata Reconstruction; Maun-Mohembo Reconstruction; and Mmathethe-Bray-Werda.
Further, the construction of Rasesa-Artesia and Palapye-Tonota roads will be undertaken through the PPP model in place of the Francistown-Nata and Maun-Mohembo roads. The proposed budget also covers new projects namely Goodhope-Kgoro-Gathwane; Molepolole Bypass; Medie-Lentsweletau and Modipane-Mabalane.
Mr. Speaker, in addition, other projects to be undertaken will include Airport Maintenance and Improvements of Surveillance of Botswana Airspace as well as Martins Drift Bridge, Optimization of the Dry Port in Walvis Bay and Development of Inland Dry Ports. Further, bankable feasibility studies will be conducted for Mmamabula-Lephalale and Mosetse-Kazungula Railway Lines,” Serame said.