Molepoloele Bus Rank Delay Irks Minister

| May 18, 2015

Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen, has expressed disappointment on the delay of the Molepolole bus rank project.

After touring the facility recently, the assistant minister said he was bothered by cost overruns on some government projects.

He said the cost overruns incurred on the project were a serious anomaly, which indicated that something was not done properly from the start of the project. He cited negligence as one of the key factors.

Mr Van Der Westhuizen cautioned contractors to be diligent so as to create a good record for themselves. The assistant minister noted that the nation was facing serious challenges such as shortage of electricity and water.

He, however, cautioned that government will have to relook at how they deal with contractors in future.

He said he was not happy with the progress of the two projects, the Letlhakeng infrastructure and Molepolole bus terminal and associated works projects adding that they were all behind time. He emphasized that his ministry was disappointed by contractors as they take resources that could be used somewhere else.

“There are so many funds that are not utilized properly,” he said. He further said some of the problems encountered by the contractor could easily have been avoided.

“The funds that could be building classrooms as well as teachers’ accommodation are being used recklessly by contractors,” he said.

He demanded that the Molepolole bus rank should be delivered by July 21st as promised by the contractor.

Deputy Permanent secretary Technical Services from the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Ms. Halakangwa Mbulai concurred with the minister on delayed government projects. She said that she was concerned that there was no storage for purchased materials and that information of the scope of the project on the report does not fit with what is actually happening on the ground. He appealed to contractors to always be honest and transparent. She also cautioned the contractors to deal with issues of compensation while they are still on site to avoid such complaints later when they have finished with the project.

MP for Molepolole North Mr. Mohammed Khan said he foresees additional costs on the project since sewerage works have not been done. He complained that some people were sleeping on their job. He urged council to work around the clock to make sure the project is completed and delivered on time. He also expressed his disappointment with the contractor for having wasted taxpayers’ money.

For his part, the contractor Mr. Michael Karera said some of the things that caused the delay were that from the onset they had to excavate 80 cubic of unsuitable material as opposed to 20 cubic as stated on the original scope of work. This he said took a lot of time.

Furthermore he said the excessive rainfall last year also hampered the project. The alterations to the terminal building have resulted in the terminal building lagging behind also reducing the overall progress status from 96 per cent in March to 85 per cent. He however stated that the alterations were necessary to enhance the functionality of the bus rank. Relocation of services was also cited to have contributed to the delay. He however assured the minister that they are working round the clock to deliver the project on the 21st of July.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

Comments are closed.