The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is preparing for occupation this President’s holiday weekend, said Johnie Swartz, the minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology.
BIUST, which is expected to be a high quality research-intensive university with focus on science, engineering and technology degree programmes, has suffered construction delays.
The Construction of the facility at Palapye is a year and a half behind schedule and that has been of great concern with the original contract duration being 75 weeks.
Swartz said the client was given access to commence installation of fixed furniture and equipment on the 1st of July 2012 and the project is ready for occupation.
“It is our desire to see the first batch of BIUST students start classes at Palapye,” he said, adding that immediate occupation of BIUST buildings will provide an opportunity to identify any latent defects for the contractor to rectify at own cost before the one year defects liability period expires.
The formal handover of the facility by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is scheduled for 26 July 2012 at Palapye.
The Ministry has been grappling with projects not finishing on time, often with cost overruns and non compliance to specifications.
Regarding the Shakawe Senior Secondary School, Swartz said the geo technical investigations of the foundation have established the existence of some defects and non-compliance with specifications in the foundations of some buildings. The structural embattlements delayed the inaugural intake that was slated for March 2012.
The project has been labeled as a classic example of poor service delivery by the ministry. He said the need for this investigation was generated by the discovery of omission of brick force in some walls.
Last week, the president of China Civil, the construction company behind Shakawe Senior Secondary School, tendered a personal apology to Batswana about the blunder.
“It has been established that the buildings are safe for use but correctional work in the foundations will delay practical completion of the project till the last quarter of the year,” he said.
Swartz noted that only after concluding remedial works and settlement negotiations in respect of the non-compliance with specifications, will the school be accepted for hand over to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development.