Construction of the long awaited Gerald Secondary School in Francistown is behind schedule. It was halted due to unavailability of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The revelation was made by Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila on Monday during a full council meeting. She however said that the EIA has now been completed and construction is currently on-going.
“Of course this has impacted negatively on progress as it was supposed to be at 58 percent according to the planned programme. Construction is on-going and it is currently at 20 percent,” she said.
Construction of Gerald Secondary School commenced early this year in an endeavor to address the troubles faced by students in the location as there is no secondary school in the area. Students have to travel over 8 km sometimes on foot to attend to Junior Secondary Schools in the city. Gerald Estates which is in the outskirts of Francistown is one of the densely populated locations. Construction of the school was awarded to a citizen owned company L&M builders.
Muzila said the project team has been urged to do all it can to catch up with time so that the school gets completed and used as planned. She revealed that construction of staff housing at the secondary school was also awarded to another contractor at a cost of P15 514 431.52 and it is currently at 42 percent completion stage.
Touching on issues of street lights in the city, she said the city council has been experiencing hiccups in that regard due to a number of challenges.
“In some cases the street lights are on and off and there has been shortage of materials especially bulbs and fillings. However council has started receiving some of the materials ordered and works started on site to address the non-functioning of the street lights,” she said.
She also said that some of the street lights in the city have been put under load shedding in areas such as Guy Streets panel, Monarch Filling Station panel and Area 2 panel. She said discussions are on-going with the Botswana Power Corporations (BPC) management to remove them from the load shedding schedule.
“In addition there is vandalism and cable theft. This is a major challenge as cables are being stolen at Ntshe and other cases of similar nature along bridges have been reported,” Muzila said.
She however said the city council is working around the clock to address the issue of street lights problems.
Among other important issues, she said the City Council continues to experience challenges in collecting the service levy and Building and Materials Loan (BML) as plot owners are reluctant to pay.
She said this is despite the interventions and strategies that have been put in place by the city council to improve its revenue collection.
“I therefore urge you to assist in coming up with additional strategies and to encourage the community to pay for the services of council so that the revenues can be used in achieving our vision,” Muzila said.