Botswana: Negligence of Cyclical Maintenance Costly

Jwaneng — Failure to undertake cyclical maintenance costs government dearly, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Mr Mmusi Kgafela has said.

Speaking after a tour of some government buildings in Jwaneng that are in apparent need of repair, Mr Kgafela said doing maintenance late escalated costs.

He urged civil servants to always report faults in government structures and make constant follow-ups to put pressure on those responsible for taking action.

"During most of the briefings I get, indications are always that reports have been filed and even though the main delay seems to be unavailability of funds, failure to follow-up on reports also seems to be the devil," he said.

On the issue of the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) residential houses known as Sama Phaletshe, Mr Kgafela said a timeframe should be set for relocating residents.

Mr Kgafela said this after being informed that development of the area, which lacked amenities such as electricity, was delayed by BHC's plans to move the residents and construct better housing.

It was not enough to always report that discussions to relocate the residents was ongoing without putting a timeframe as to when it would be possible, especially since the area was inhospitable due to congestion, power and sewerage challenges, he said.

Mr Kgafela, who indicated that his visit would help him better appreciate the town's problems, visited among others, Dithuso house which houses most central government departments, Mpule Kwelagobe Children's Centre, Jwaneng police offices, library as well as Sama Phaletshe location.

Briefing the minister earlier, Jwaneng deputy district commissioner, Mr Lesang Kgomoetsile revealed that no maintenance work had been carried out at Dithuso House since 2000.

The building had many cracks which were exacerbated by an earth tremor two years back, he said.

Mr Kgomoetsile said the building's centralised air conditioning system only worked on the ground floor thereby subjecting the rest of staff to torture during extreme weather conditions.

In addition, the building's ablutions were in bad shape, especially that the water in the area was saline, thereby causing pipe blockages.

Mr Kgomoetsile said the backup generator had also never worked ever since its installation around 2007.

"Our local police offices are also overwhelmed because they were constructed many years ago when there were still only a few officers, but ever since then the staff members have increased significantly, making it insufficient," he said.

Mr Kgomoetsile also informed the minister that children accommodated at Mpule Kwelagobe Children's Centre had since been relocated or returned home because the structure was falling apart.

The local library was reportedly letting in water when it rained. BOPA

Source : BOPA

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