The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD)has refuted allegations that the government is in the process of ending the Ipelegeng programme.
Following remarks made by Francistown Member of Parliament Ignatius Moswaane last Monday, where he accused the government of systematically putting an end to Ipelegeng by recruiting beneficiaries as part of the Covid-19 front line staff.
Moswaane lamented that the beneficiaries are being exploited as their conditions of services under their new roles have not been clearly defined. “It is not clear whether they are now civil servants or are still under Ipelegeng progamme,” Moswaane said in an earlier interview with The Voice.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Boipelo Khumomatlhare, however told The Voice that it’s not true that the government is doing away with the Ipelegeng Programme.
Khumomatlhare said that is why when budget cuts were made by government across programmes and projects, the budget for Ipelegeng Programme was not affected because of its recognized importance. “Plans are underway to revamp the programme and to make it productive,” he said.
Khumomatlhare said government shall continue to engage the beneficiaries.
He said the able-bodied destitute persons will continue to be engaged on permanent basis while other beneficiaries (cleaners, Scorpions, supervisor and labourers) will be engaged on monthly and/or on rotational basis.
He further said in line with government efforts to respond to Covid-19 pandemic, a response plan at local level has been put in place, through Presidential Directive of 13th May 2020.
He told The Voice that the directive’s main thrust is that under the Ipelegeng Programmes, the funds should be utilized to engage additional cleaners in various public primary and secondary schools to ensure cleanliness of these public facilities.
The funds will also be used to engage 4 800 Covid-19 Scorpions to enforce protocols at local level and also to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the cleaners and the Scorpions.
“Furthermore, the Village Extension Teams (VETs) have been mandated to monitor and supervise the Covid-19 compliance at local level, while the District AIDS Coordinators (DACs) Environmental Health Officers and Wellness Officers will be trained to enforce Covid-19 protocols at Districts/Sub-Districts and oversee local level response,” Khumomatlhare said.
The PS further revealed that Ipelegeng beneficiaries are continuously being engaged by various Districts countrywide.
“So far, as at 10th June 2020, 16 623 beneficiaries have been engaged. These include 13 729 cleaners, 2188 Covid-19 Scorpions and 706 able-bodied destitute persons,” he said.