The Botswana Government is expected to soon meet up with companies that were awarded multibillion public works tenders to reassess amongst other things revised project completion periods as well as anticipated costs overruns.
The Minister responsible for Transport – Thulagano Segokgo said recently that it is quite clear that some, if not all the projects will not be completed at the initial agreed time due to the just ended Covid-19 national lockdown. He also stated that the budget will also be revisited.
“The assessment will be on who is now responsible for the cost overruns of the ongoing projects which are mostly behind schedule”, Segokgo said.
Amongst the projects that were pause and resumed operations on the 18th May 2020 include the construction of roads such as Gaborone – Boatle, Mosu- Tlhalamabele Vet Gate, Mabeleapudi – Tshimoyapula-Serule, Charleshill – Ncojane, Dibete-Mookane – Machaneng.
Other development projects which also resumed operations on the 18th May 2020 subject to compliance to Covid-19 regulations he said are the design, supply, installation, operation and maintenance of the new Greater Gaborone Traffic Signalling System Modernization and Provision of a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC). On the list also is the design, build and transfer for three interchanges along the Western Bypass.
Meanwhile on other projects within his ministry, Segokgo said health teams were established to facilitate compliance to COVID-19 regulations at the commencement of the State of Public Emergency (SOE) to ensure that works could continue on the major bridge projects.
“Mohembo bridge project work was never suspended due to Covid -19 Pandemic and overall progress is 65 percent against planned progress 90 percent and it is behind schedule,” said Segokgo.
Giving update on the Kazangula bridge project, Segokgo stated that work was never suspended due to Covid -19 Pandemic. He added that overall progress is 98.5 (rail line, road furniture and water proofing ongoing). He said Botswana One Stop Border Post (OSBP) is 95.7% percent, while Zambia OSBP is 91.5 percent.
Previously the month of June 2020 was set at the new deadline for the handover of the Kazungula Bridge project and is expected to link Botswana to Zambia, was initially slated to be completed by March 2019 but the contractor failed to reach the target date due to lack of payments from the Zambia government. The Kazungula Bridge is a joint project between the two neighbouring southern African nations who also are member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).