It is either by deliberate intention or lack of capacity, but the staff at the department of Roads do not usually compile end of activity reports as expected, the Minister of Transport or Communications, Onkokame Kitso Mokaila has said.
Mokaila made the remarks at his Ministry’s stakeholder consultative workshop this past week at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC).
Before Mokaila’s remarks, a Consultant, Boitumelo Keikitse had enquired why the government opts for low bidders of tenders as there is no quality that can be cheap. He further enquired why construction as an industry cannot be rigidly professionalized.
Victor Ponoesele, another Consultant highlighted the fact that projects were in the past done with commitment, hence projects like the Gaborone Western bypass were constructed way back in 1994 yet they are still in mint shape.
“Then there was passion and commitment in the construction industry. Not today where there seems to be a lot of political influence in tendering processes,” he said.
In their response, Mokaila and his Permanent Secretary, Kabelo Ebineng explained that these were caused by the fact that either by deliberate intention or lack of capacity, Roads staff do not compile end of activity reports. Concerns were also raised that there is a lot of mistrust between government and consultants; with poor communication being frequent between the two. Queries that should take days end up taking three months to address.
Amongst public projects that suffered bad publicity in the past include the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport which was constructed by a Chinese contractor.