OVERVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BOTSWANA

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PRESENTATION TO 55th ALAN
CONGRESS HELD IN WINDHOEK 21ST
JULY 2011
LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IN
BOTSWANA
K. Moletsane
1
1.


2
INTRODUCTION
District and Urban Councils in Botswana are
creations of parliamentary statutes, ie Local
Government (District Councils) Act (CAP
40:01) and Townships Act (CAP 40:02)
respectively
The two Acts have been reviewed to merge
them into one Local Government Act and the
draft Bill is under debate in current
Parliament sitting
INTRODUCTION




3
Councils therefore derive their powers to exercise good
governance and take responsibility for development in their areas
of jurisdiction from the two Acts.
Botswana operates a two – tier system of government ie, Central
and local government (comprising district and urban councils).
Representative local government in Botswana has evolved and
developed since its start at independence in 1966 because of
government’s commitment to rural development and a steady
process of decentralization spearheaded by the Ministry of Local
Government.
Creation of a conclusive environment for local government
development, community participation, strategic direction and
national policy formulation is the responsibility of the Ministry of
Local Government under which Councils fall.
2.


4
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSTITUTION
OF COUNCILS
Councils in Botswana are corporate bodies with distinct
names by which they are established. A Council can be sued
and can also sue, Section 4 of the Local Government
(District Councils) Act and regulation 4(1) of the Township
Act empower the President and Minister of Local
Government to establish District and Town Councils
respectively. The two statutes provide that both District and
Town Councils shall be constituted by an order establishing
a Council stating number of members (both elected and
nominated) as deemed appropriate.
Botswana has 16 Councils made up of 10 District Councils
and 6 Urban Councils
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSTITUTION
OF COUNCILS Cont…….
In addition to the two Acts there are other statutes
governing the operations of Councils and these include
among others:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
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Public Health Act (Cap 63:01)
Children’s Act (Act no 8 of 2009)
Adoption of children’s Act (Cap 28:01)
Water Act (Cap 34:06)
Matimela Act (Cap 36:06)
Education Act (Cap 58:01)
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSTITUTION
OF COUNCILS Cont…….
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)
6
Pounds Act (Cap 36:05)
Building Control Act
Fire Services Act (Act No 5 of 1994)
Environmental Impact Assessment Act 2005
Local Authorities Procurement and Asset Disposal
Act 2008
Town and Country Planning Act (Cap 32:09)
3.
FUNCTIONS & DUTIES OF
COUNCILS
In terms of Section 31 of Local Government (District Councils) Act
and regulation 32 of Townships Act, Councils are to:





7
Provide primary schools and other educational services in
relation to primary education.
Provide sanitary services for the removal and disposal of refuse.
Safeguard and promote public health and prevent occurrence of
any outbreak or prevalence of any disease.
Provide public lavatories
Construct and maintain public roads and streets other than
those constructed and maintained by central government.
FUNCTIONS & DUTIES OF COUNCILS
Cont…
8

Name roads and streets within the council area.

Establish, maintain and control markets

Establish and maintain recreational grounds and other public
places.

Establish and maintain cemeteries and burial grounds.

Carry into effects byelaws made by Council.

Secure the proper working of Council and any committees and
the welfare of its employees.
FUNCTIONS & DUTIES OF COUNCILS
Cont…
9

Control urban building design and standards

Provide social and community development services

Organize the collection, retention and where applicable , sale of
Matimela

Encourage Industrial and Commercial development, especially
where this will provide employment

Act as fire authorities to maintain fire brigades and to be
responsible for extinction of fires and protect life and property
in case of fire.
4.

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COUNCIL LINKAGE WITH OTHER
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
As key service providers in the district, Councils do not exist in
isolation. There are other critical institutions at the district
level that compliment the work of Councils and vice versa.
Some of the key local institutions include:
COUNCIL LINKAGE WITH OTHER
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS Cont…
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
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Office of District Commissioner
Landboard
Tribal Administration
Private sector and NGOs
Central government department and parastatals in the
district
Development partners and donor agencies
Village Development committees
Community Based Organisations and Civil Society
Organisations
5.
POLICIES GOVERNING
OPERATIONS OF COUNCILS
In addition to statutes through which Councils operate, there are
number of policies that Councils use in executing their
mandate. These include among others:
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Revised National Settlement Policy of 2004.
National Policy on Housing in Botswana of 1999.
Revised National Policy on Education (RNPE) of 1994.
POLICIES GOVERNING OPERATIONS
OF COUNCILS Cont…..
13

Revised National Policy on Destitute Persons of 2002.

Early Childhood Care and Education Policy (ECC&E) of 2002.

Short Term Plan of Action (STPA) on Care of Orphans in
Botswana, 1999-2001

Village/Ward Development Committee Guidelines of 2002.

Revised National Policy on HIV/AIDS of 2002

White Paper on the Second Presidential Local Government
Structure Commission of 2004.
POLICIES GOVERNING OPERATIONS
OF COUNCILS Cont…..
14

Revised Rural Development Policy of 2002.

National Strategy for Poverty Reduction of 2003.

1994 Roads Maintenance Study Manual.

National Water Master Plan.
End
Thank you
15
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