Francistown West MP, Tshelang Masisi, has expressed anxiety about whether the City of Francistown would make as much money as it should from the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa.
The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture is currently building a stadium in the city and what Masisi wanted to know, through a parliamentary question last Thursday, was whether the stadium would be ready for ‘possible use’ by some of the football teams participating in the 2010 games. According to the minister responsible, Gladys Kokorwe, the stadium is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2010.
“The 2010 World Cup on the other hand is scheduled to start in June 2010 and by then it is anticipated that the stadium will be ready for possible use by some team participating in the 2010 World Cup Games. My ministry, in collaboration with the department of building and engineering services in the Ministry of Works and Transport is closely monitoring the project implementation to ensure that the project is completed on schedule,” Kokorwe said.
From the latter ministry, Masisi wanted to know what was being done to ensure that construction work at the Francistown airport is completed in time to cater for the anticipated increase in air traffic during the games.
In response, Works and Transport minister, Johnnie Swartz, said that although the time frame of the development and improvement of the airport was not linked to the 2010 World Cup games, the project phases are being monitored closely so that the work should be completed within the contract period.
The airport is being developed under three separate contract packages.
Package 1, which started on August 1 last year, is of airfield pavements and related civil engineering works and currently stands at 34 percent against the 39 percent of the planned schedule. The minister attributed the delay to rains that fell in April this year.
Package II, which is for airfield ground lighting, is at tender evaluation stage and its tenders – which were received on July 8 this year – are still under evaluation.
Package III, which will cost P160 million, is for buildings, services and allied works. It commenced on November 3 last year and is 37 percent against the 46 percent planned schedule.
“This contract is behind schedule due to adverse weather conditions and the unexpected encounter of hard material during foundation excavations,” Swartz said.