Contractors cautioned against public projects cost over runs

11 Feb 2019

BY CEDRIC SWANKA

The Government has vowed not to spend more than it has budgeted on contractors who go over budget ceilings for local development projects warning that over expenditure would be borne by engaged contractors.

The warning came from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Kabelo Ebineng during the contract signing ceremony for the three grade separated intersections in Gaborone.

The three grade separated intersections forms part of the Botswana Integrated Transport Project (BITP) that will bring about developments along the K T Motsete Drive (Western Bypass) at ‘Kgale Circle’, the ‘Rainbow Circle’ and ‘BTV Circle’.

The project has received funding of about P447, 239 902, 3 (Four hundred and forty seven million, two hundred and thirty nine thousand, nine hundred and two and three thebe) for a period of twenty four months.

The Permanent Secretary revealed that government, this time around, is doing things differently. Contractors are now expected to do things on time, fulfil the objectives and not to go beyond the budget.

The project is a ‘design and build’ and encompasses works such as design and construction said the Permanent Secretary.

It is funded by the Government of Botswana in conjunction with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). The project has been awarded to Zhong Gan Engineering & Construction (Pty) Ltd, China Jiangsu International (Pty) Ltd and Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Ltd as a joint venture in October last year. Revealed Ebineng

BITP objective is to enhance the efficiency of the transport system by building modern business management capacity, and improving the strategic planning aspects of inter-regional transport and critical transport infrastructure. of traffic signals in Gaborone and greater Gaborone.

The project objective is to contribute towards improved traffic flow in greater Gaborone through construction of the 3 interchanges along KT Motsete Drive (‘Western Bypass’) i.e. at ‘Kgale Circle’, ‘Rainbow Circle’ and ‘BTV Circle’. The project will also contribute to urban traffic improvement, installation. Revealed Ebineng

Speaking on the side of the contractors, Tang Jie Administrative Manager-Zhong Gan Engineering & Construction said we assure that we are going to handover this project within the Contract period to the satisfaction of the Employer, the Engineer and all other Authorities and the public.

We have started this project January this year with a fixed construction period of 24 months. Mobilization and site establishment is ongoing in accordance with our programme. We will manage the contract and produce the required outputs in accordance with the Management Measures and Monthly Construction Progress Reports will be compiled accordingly. Continued Jie

The Permanent Secretary has stated that he expects to be disrupted along these routes and hoped it will be minimal. Sharing the same sentiments Jie stated that there are plans to ensure motorists are not affected that much.

To reduce the impact to the traffic to the minimum, a Traffic Management Plan will be drawn up for the contract. Within the overall plan, specific Traffic Control Plans will be drawn up for each of the 3 interchange areas. A full time Traffic Handling Team will be responsible for traffic management within the duration of construction. He shared

To ensure that Batswana also benefit from the project Jie has promised to include them in one way or the other. To respond to the Economic Diversification Drive and Citizen Empowerment Policy, we will try our best to source manpower and materials locally. He shared.

The joint venture is formed by three companies, each said to have over 20 years of experience in construction and done similar projects successfully in countries such as China, Botswana and other African countries.