Botswana is a democratic republic with a two-tier system of government: central government headed by the president, and local government headed by a mayor in towns and a council chairperson in districts. There is no constitutional provision for local government, but the main legislative text is the Local Government Act which brings together the Local Government (District Councils) Act 1965 and the Townships Act 1965. This confers statutory powers on councils to exercise good governance and take responsibility for development in their areas. The Ministry of Local Government is charged with providing policy direction and guidance for socioeconomic development at local level. Local government comprises 16 districts (ten district councils, six urban councils) and 20 sub-districts. There are an additional 17 sub-districts and two administrative authorities proposed within Botswana’s National Development Plan (2009-2016). There is also a traditional system of village leadership which works cooperatively with the district councils. Although councils have legal powers to collect certain taxes, levies and fees, central government provides over 90% of their total revenue. Statutory council functions include provision of primary education, primary healthcare, tertiary and access roads, and village water supplies.
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