Botswana: Minister On First Hand Mission

Molepolole — The contractor undertaking infrastructure development projects in Mogoditshane have been urged to complete them on time and within budget in spite of COVID-19 challenges.

Speaking during a tour of the projects in Mogoditshane blocks five and nine, Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila acknowledged the challenges emanating from the two months lockdown.

Originally, the 18-month project was scheduled to be completed in November but might require additional time.

The project, covering two constituencies of Mogoditshane and Gabane-Mmankgodi, entail provision of services among them tarred roads, power, telecommunications and water and sanitation.

Mr Mzwinila said following the approval by Parliament last year of the Land Policy, government was required to provide full serviced land before allocation of plots.

Government was currently undertaking consultation as some Batswana had called for allocation of plots even before servicing was done, he revealed.

The minister pointed out that it was expensive to provide services to developed plots.

Provision of full services cost between P125 000 to P150 000 per plot therefore only minimal services such as water and gravel road in some areas would be provided.

Minister Mzwinila said the provision of services such as water would help accelerate land allocation.

The minister said following the adoption of the new Land Policy, priority of plots would be given to first time home owners.

He said the road linking Mogoditshane and Nkoyaphiri was important as it would alleviate traffic congestion on the Gaborone-Molepolole Road (A12).

Infrastructure projects in the area have been divided into three packages, with one package involving provision of services to the already developed area.

Project manager, Mr Ricky Muchemwa said package one covered provision of full services for 1 662 plots at a cost of P152 million.

Other than challenges resulting from lockdown, Mr Muchemwa said some people had reneged on their agreement with Kweneng Land Board and refused to make way for planned developments.

In Mmopane, the project has been affected by Covid-19 as some funds earmarked for the project had since been channeled towards fighting the pandemic.

Minister Mzwinila said following consultation with Lentsweletau-Mmopane MP, Ms Nnaniki Makwinja, government had agreed to undertake development in a phased approach, the first being tarring of the road linking the old village with Mmopane Block One.

The entire project includes access road, sewerage reticulation to individual plots and telecommunications network as well as streetlights since the area has been incorporated into greater Gaborone.

Government has opted for a design and build concept for the 4.4-kilometer road which should take overall 15 months to be completed.

Source : BOPA

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