Residents Weary of White Elephant Projects
The Francistown-Tonota multi million pula highway is not expected to be completed on time by October 2015.
The state-of-the-art interchange section which will replace the famous Thapama circle is still at the design stage.
This development came to light last week, when the team from Pula Consultants (Pty.) Ltd. held their second public consultative meeting in the city.
“Our desire was to have the road complete by October 2015, but due to the heavy rains and the fact that the interchange junction is still at the design stage, we are not certain when the project will be completed,” said Pula Consultancy’s Principal Engineer Obusitswe Keithile.
He also said that the final the design of the “spaghetti” interchange is likely to be complete sometime in May/June this year.
“This is because we are going to take into consideration the concerns and suggestions stakeholders have brought up.
Also the construction of this section of the project is still to be priced.
That in itself may delay the construction,” the Principal Engineer concluded.
Francistown residents expressed their skepticism on the quality standards of on-going government projects.
They appealed to government and project supervisors to ensure the workmanship of the much anticipated highway is of the highest standard.
Theresa Mbulawa said, “We don’t want to see another failed project like Shakawe Senior secondary school, or the glass project in Palapye.
We want the completed road to be as you have shown us on the design.”
She also queried why such big projects were always given to Chinese owned companies when there are reputable companies in South Africa or closer to home in Botswana.
“Cheap is not always best. The lowest bidder system of awarding tenders is not ideal.
As we have seen we end up using more of the tax payers’ money in one project this way – when it has to be redone.
Our neighbours in South Africa have very good roads, why don’t we use those companies,” she lamented.