Government is expected to invest close to P3 billion in the energy sector following several episodes of load shedding that affected the country’s major cities. This was mainly due to the failure of the Morupule B power plant. However the energy sector is expected to enjoy a lion’s share of the development budget in a bid to jump-start the country’s economy.
Delivering the 2017 Budget speech for the period 2017/18 at parliament on Monday, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo emphasized on securing reliable sources of energy and exploring renewable sources like solar. “The proposed Development Budget for the 2017/2018 financial year is P16.52 billion. The largest share of the budget is proposed for allocation to the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security at P2.94 billion or 17.8 percent,” Matambo said when addressing parliament.
“This is in recognition that, reliable and efficient sources of energy are a prerequisite for achieving NDP 11 priority area of Development of Diversified Sources of Economic Growth. Matambo revealed that major projects under this Ministry comprise of the North West Transmission grid, Morupule A Power Plant Rehabilitation, and construction of Rakola substation. Furthermore, it is proposed that the country’s electricity service provider Botswana Power Corporation be allocated an amount of P1.46 billion to cover operational costs.
To ensure a conducive business environment the development budget also prioritize land management and water resources, which received the second largest share of the budget at P2.80 billion or 17.0 percent. The rather large allocated to the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services will be used for implementation of water projects.
These projects include of the North-South Carrier II to supply water to the Southern part of the country and reticulation of water from the Thune Dam to nearby villages. “This allocation will also cater for, among others; implementation of the Land Administration, Procedure, Capacity and Systems (LAPCAS) to improve land management, and land servicing, which is expected to enhance investment and employment opportunities.”