Monday, July 6, 2020

Disgruntled workers at Dikgatlhong back at work

A percentage of the workers who formed part of the mass resignation that halted construction work at Dikgatlhong Dam last year have returned to work.

The mass resignation is said to have, amongst other things, delayed progression of the dam construction, leaving the contractor behind schedule.

Dikgatlhong Dam, which is expected to be Botswana’s largest dam at a cost of P1.3 billion is also going to be one of the country’s tourist attractions. The dam will mainly provide water to residents of Robelela and surrounding villages. Completion of the project is set for February 2012.
At the helm of their resignation was the fact that workers were questioning the contractor’s method of overtime payment, which they said was poorly calculated. The contractor in question, Sinohydro, is currently involved in a number of big developments in the country, amongst them the Lotsane Dam as well the Sir Seretse Khama airport expansion project.

“About 90 employees resigned at one go last year and that certainly had a negative impact on the progression of the dam. The matter got to a point where the industrial court was involved, but everything is almost back to normal now with some of them returning to work,” said Boikanyo Mpho, chief engineer at the site.

According to Mpho, in the year 2010, they saw two massive strikes between October and November over the issue of overtime payment. Mpho revealed that they are currently ahead of schedule in some places and behind in others.

With the construction of the dam, came electricity and a road, a few of the benefits that Robelela residents and surrounding villages will now have access to. The Department of Water Affairs, which is responsible for the development, said that in a few years, residents of Robelela and surrounding areas will see more benefits from the dam.

The height of the dam wall is 40 meters, while the the wall is 4.6 kilometers long.

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