THE GABORONE WE WANT

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 25 June 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Motshegwa Motshegwa

The Problem

I and my colleagues in Gaborone (Parliamentary candidates and councillors)  would like to have a conversation with stakeholders in the development of Gaborone - residents, workers, students, the business community, civil society and the media, about the Gaborone we want. The city we live in now, is far from the city we want and deserve. It does not meet the aspirations of its stakeholders.

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It does not give us enough of the jobs we want, decent jobs that pay at least a living wage, and are both secure and safe for every household. Everyone who puts in eight (8) hours a day five (5) days a weak ought to earn enough to afford three square meals a day for herself and her family, put a decent roof over their heads and dress them in accordance with basic standards of decency.

It does not accord too many of our working households and families the shelter every family should have as a matter of right – homes with basic amenities (water, sanitation and electricity), private space for parents so that they do not share bedrooms with children, and protective spaces for children.

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It does not create enough opportunities for business, in large measure because it does not provide a competitive environment for doing business.

It does not provide quality education for our children. Our education system is failing at every level: preprimary, primary, secondary and tertiary. Consequently, it is burdening the city with a burgeoning population of frustrated, angry and i9ncreasingly dangerous youths.

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It does not accord residents quality health care. Our clinics and our hospitals are malfunctioning. They are under-resourced, understaffed and are increasingly unsafe for patients and staff alike.

Our city is not safe. Crime is out of control. It is not clean and it is not efficient. Let us face it. Few things work well in this city of ours. It is poorly planned and poorly serviced, from infrastructure services such as power, water, sewerage, roads, telecommunications and connectivity, through services such as education, health and sanitation and safety, to leisure, sports and recreation.

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The Ideal

I am confident that we want a safe, clean, efficient, competitive, resilient and aesthetically appealing city that is a good place to live, work and do business in. We want a city that works for all who live in it. It will not happen overnight, but it is possible if we put our minds to it, plan for it, and work hard to achieve it. We need to have conversations around how we build such a city, all of us, working together.

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Our Thoughts

a)        Governance

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     We want decentralised government so that the people of Gaborone can truly run their city.

     We want an Executive Mayor that is directly elected by the people of Gaborone

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     We want Gaborone to be safe, so we will attack crime through development and visible policing.

     We want efficient and accessible basic service as the foundation of a local economy that works

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     Engaged citizens

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b)        Economy

We want a city economy grows fast, creates decent jobs and contributes to leads the overall development of Botswana. In this regard, we will work hard to make Gaborone an efficient, safe and aesthetically appealing city that is attracts investment and is good and safe place to live in. We will thus prioritise:

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     Efficient business regulation: We want to enable business, especially SMMEs, so we will 

     Efficient infrastructure services:

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      We want reliable and affordable high speed internet in every household and in public spaces to support youth creativity, learning and development. We will fight to bring down the costs of data.

      Reliable, universally accessible and affordable electricity and water for the city of Gaborone. The regular disruptions to electricity and water supply are not good for business and job creation

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      An efficient road and transport system: We want paved roads in our neighbourhoods as well as a road network that eases traffic flow and facilitates efficiency.

c)        Education

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We will work to significantly educational outcomes in all schools and to significantly reduce the gap between the performance of private schools and public schools. To this end we will:

     Expand and modernise school infrastructure throughout Gaborone to create adequate and conducive spaces for learning for all our children

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     Equip all schools adequately for Fourth Industrial Revolution Learning. We want computers and tablets in our schools from the primary to secondary level, improved performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields. 

     Improve the working conditions for teachers. Pay them as well as the security services, ensure they have adequate accommodation

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     Reduce the teacher-learner ratio to 1:25 within five years

     Up-skill teachers through a robust programme of continuous professional development

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     Free sanitary pads for girls

d)        Health

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     Improve health infrastructure

     Significantly improve the working conditions of health personnel. Better pay, better lower nurse-patient ratios, more human working hours and full payment for overtime work

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     Invest significantly in preventive health care

      Free comprehensive annual medical examinations for all, covering vital organs and chronic diseases

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      Universal access to gynaecological services for women

      Robust public health education.

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     Eliminate the pit latrine within five years

e)   Urban Redesign and re-development

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We will challenge our technocrats to redesign Gaborone and turn into a more efficient and aesthetically appealing smart city. Redevelopment



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