Thursday, July 7, 2022

Francistown Stadium still far from completion stage

The long-awaited Francistown Stadium will not be completed any time soon as it has to be partly demolished to rectify the poor workmanship by the previous Chinese contractor, Tuwana Construction, whose contract was terminated last year.

The stadium, which was said to be at 90 percent completion stage during a tour of the edifice last year by the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Johny Swartz and his delegation, has to be partly demolished leaving it to approximately 65 percent completion stage.

The Ministry has also admitted part of the blame saying that it lacked proper scrutiny in approving a poor design plan of the facility, which contributed to the delay.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard , the Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Morwalela Kesalopa, said that completion of the stadium is estimated to take eight full months from the date that the winning bidder commences work as they have floated a tender for a new contractor.

“Although the completion of the stadium was reported to be almost complete at the time of the termination of the contract of the previous contractor last year, some areas will be demolished on account of both poor workmanship and design defects, therefore after demolition approved work will only be approximately 65 percent,” she said.

Citing some of the main challenges be-devilling the completion of the stadium, she said that verifying work that was done by the previous contractor as well as ensuring that work done by this contractor is acceptable to continue with unfinished work, continue to be a challenge for the Ministry.

Asked about the total cost of the project, she declined to comment saying that such information cannot be disclosed as tender documents are still being prepared to rope in a new contractor.
“Since tender documents are still being prepared, we cannot afford to disclose the estimated cost of works for fear of leading the bidders,” she said.

The multi-million pula stadium, which was supposed to be complete in April 2010, has been in limbo for almost two years. The completion of the facility has continuously been extended owing to issues of bad design. The defects in the facility range from poor construction of the VIP room and the change room.


Read this week's paper