Botswana: Minister Kgafela Worried About Projects' Delays

The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Hon. Mmusi Kgafela recently visited projects executed by this Ministry across the country. Among the projects that he visited were those relating to maintenance of some senior secondary schools like Francistown Senior Secondary School, Moeng College, Shoshong Senior Secondary School and Matsha College. The Minister also visited some Revenue office projects in Hukuntsi and Charles Hill. Other projects visited by the Minister were some Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) projects in Palapye, Hukuntsi, Charles Hill and Ghanzi as well as health facilities in Maun. The Minister also visited Jwaneng building facilities including the Dithuso house and the Samaphaleche township houses.

Although some of these projects like Revenue offices in Hukuntsi and Charles Hill and Ghanzi Senior Secondary School maintenance project, were doing well, there were some that proved to be an eye sore. The Minister was especially concerned with the little to no progress being experienced in such maintenance projects as Francistown Senior secondary School and Matsha College. At Matsha College, there was no movement and it appeared the contractor had abandoned the project. Dithuso House in Jwaneng as well as the library building, which were completed some years ago, seemed to have been poorly developed. In addition to multiple cracks in the two buildings, some critical installations like the elevator, air conditions and the generator at Dithuso House were nonfunctional and were reported to have only worked a few times after their installations. The Minister was thus concerned that despite the huge amount of money invested in some of these buildings, most were not serving the true purpose for which they were built because of premature malfunctioning of some installations.

In the end, the Minister expressed concern about the following;

Projects that took too long to complete.

Acceptance of projects that did not meet specifications by his Ministry officials.

Possibilities of some Batswana allowing foreigners to use them as "fronts" in projects that were exclusively reserved for Batswana.

Usage of substandard materials resulting in premature dilapidation of building facilities.

In view of these observations, the Minister undertook to do the following;

Impress upon his staff to strengthen supervision of projects and adherence to contracts so that projects are completed on time.

Demand accountability from his staff in order that all projects that get accepted meet all the contract specifications.

Impress upon his staff to improve on due diligence done before awarding projects to ensure that all contractors awarded such projects are the most deserving ones.

Emphasize usage of materials specified in the contract and not any other that may be of lesser quality.

Emphasize on preparations of project performance reports for all projects so that non-performing contractors are not awarded any future government projects.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Christopher Nyanga

For Acting Permanent Secretary

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