On Monday, The Finance Minister, Peggy Serame delivered her first ever Budget Speech, sealing her place in the history books as the first ever female to do so.
While it’s easy to get lost in the jargon, with terms such as Budget Deficit, Public Debt and Fiscal Expenditure coming thick and fast, Voice Money ventured into Francistown to find out what the average individual on the street made of the speech……
I heard that the Ramokgwebana to Ramatlabama road will be converted into a dual carriageway, and I am not happy with that because it is not a priority. They could have considered improving the A3 instead because that is the road that generates income into the county. Tourists are using the A3 when going to Maun to see wild animals and many beautiful places. The road is in terrible condition after Nata and desperately needs a proper facelift.
According to me there is nothing new in the Budget Speech that hasn’t been said before. They are going to maintain roads that have been a problem since way back. Tertiary students have been crying about their small allowances but I did not hear anything about increasing them, which means students will still have to survive on the tiny amount they are currently receiving.
No employment opportunities were indicated, so those completing their schooling will be coming home to join the thousands who are already sitting at home with their diplomas and degrees.
They mentioned Shashemooke to Mathangwane road, which has now turned into a song. They have been talking about that road forever but still there is no change. If at all they can finally start to work on it, we will be happy as it will be a good development. With the P100 increase in old age pension, it is too little because things are expensive. The P600 they will now be getting is still not enough to buy food for the month; it should have been raised to P1, 000.
Offering the health department a large sum of money is a good move because already the country has a shortage of medicine. If one goes to the clinic right now, you will find that there is no medication on the shelves, it is just an empty clinic without anything. I wish they can use the money offered to buy medication because people cannot survive without it and a lot of people do not have money to buy their own medication.
Although I did not listen to the whole speech I am happy that better roads will be made thus reducing accidents. I am also happy that health got a big share of the money, that will help with the fight against Covid. I wish that at least they could increase tandabala (old age pension) to P1, 500 because almost everything is so expensive nowadays.