FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament for Francistown West Ignatious Moswaane intends to table a motion calling for the upgrading of Ipelegeng program into permanent employment.
Addressing the media last week, the outspoken legislator stated that while some of his colleagues have denounced the controversial social program that was initiated by former President Ian Khama, in his view the program should be reviewed and turned into a permanent job opportunity. As with former Minister Neo Moroka, who recently told the National Business Conference that the program entraps people in poverty, Moswaane shared the same sentiments but stated that there is a need to review the program as it has value. Moroka had noted that “Ipelegeng program is a waste of time and resources. We need to review this program to make sure that it is line with our vision. No one ever graduates from this program,” Moroka stated when dismissing the social program.
In contrast, when addressing the media last week Moswaane pointed out that while he understands that Ipelegeng is meant to assist the unemployed temporarily, considering the skills the beneficiaries acquire there is a need to turn it into permanent employment. “I want this social program to be turned into a permanent employment because I am concerned about the welfare of the temporary beneficiaries. We cannot claim to be helping the unemployed people with short-term solutions because they only benefit at that time but from there it will be a setback again on their welfare. I believe that they can only be assisted sustainably if the program is permanent. Every month the beneficiaries have to pave the way for others, meaning that these people will still struggle to put food on their tables. If this program is reviewed and turned into permanent employment the government would manage to reduce unemployment. And the beneficiaries will have other benefits just like any other public servant,” Moswaane stated.
Moswaane’s wish is that his colleagues will support his motion as he is doing this for the benefit of the unemployed Batswana. Initially, according to Moswaane he was supposed to table the motion during the last parliamentary sitting but was advised against bringing the motion. “I was supposed to bring the motion in the last sitting but I was told that the government is still trying to find out how the program can be improved. I think it was just a delaying tactic and that is why I am intending to bring the motion in the next parliamentary sitting.”
Moswaane’s call for the upgrading of the program is driven by neighbouring countries that benchmarked the program and turned it into a permanent social program. “If other countries managed to make some amendments what will be difficult on our side to also review it,” wondered Moswaane.
The brainchild of the Former President has been a source of concern especially from the opposition parties calling for it to be scrapped as an unsuccessful use of resources.