The Minister of Finance & Development Planning Kenneth Matambo says the Private Public Partnership (PPP) is not a panacea to Botswana’s economic problems. Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Matambo poured scorn on the PPP saying though some including the private sector itself wanted to pressurise government into hurryingly signing and venturing into PPP projects, the fact of the matter was government was still treading carefully.
Referring to Gaborone Bonnington South MP-Ndaba Gaolathe's comment that the government PPP office is not adequately equipped and capacitated to deal with PPP projects, Matambo agreed saying that, that was one of the factors that were still hindering government to engage the private sector fully. “I really cannot say much about the PPP office but what I know is, we have some capacity but not all. We want to avoid signing contracts over things that we do not have expertise on,” said the Minister.
According to Matambo, government is aware that there are complaints from some, in the private sector who feel that government representatives in PPP forums are usually junior officers who do not match representation sent from the private sector. “We can be in trouble for failing to negotiate good deals for the government, of course the private sector can be confident about it because they have the expertise,” said Matambo.
Matambo further said though the government had no qualms with partnering with the private sector and would do so when the time is right it must be noted that the PPP was not the only viable model available to finance public projects.
Meanwhile because Gaolatlhe had also wanted Matambo to brief the house about progress made on Vision 2016 and the NDP 11, the Minister told parliament that though Vision 2036 is expected to be launched simultaneously with the country’s 50TH anniversary next year September, it should be completed before then. He however did not refute insinuations that government might have delayed NDP 11 in order to launch it simultaneously with vision 2036. “Yes NDP 11 framework and Vision 2036 can quite inform each other so it’s quite possible that they can be prepared parallel to each other,” said Matambo.
Matambo informed parliament that government was this time more prepared to implement the National development plan efficiently as structures have been put in place specifically for that. “We are happy to note that government is assuring that this time around they will be serious with implementation of national projects,” Gabane/Mmankgodi MP Pius Mokgware said in response to Matambo’s comment.