The Minister of Transport and Communications, Kitso Mokaila has admitted that poor coordination between government and Francistown City Council (FCC) in the planning of road infrastructure in Francistown failed to address the ever increasing congestion in the city.
The situation is made worse by the second city’s overwhelmed Bus Rank which encompasses taxis, combis and buses.
Addressing a Kgotla meeting in Chadibe village 25 km from Francistown last week he lamented on the poor state of the Francistown Bus Rank and the traffic clogged internal roads in the city. He said that it is very important that when government plans road infrastructure, it works closely with councils to come up with sound and effective infrastructural development. Mokaila emphasized that “for any economy to move, traffic must move”.
The minister was in Chadibe village to update the residents on the proposed Mandunyane- Mathangwane road that is to commence construction next year.
“We acknowledge that some of the roads are managed by councils and some by government. They are managed by two authorities. While this system works for us at times it fails us and to be honest it gives me a head-ache. When road infrastructure planning is done, both roads managed by the two authorities should be looked into to see how the issue of congestion and the flow of traffic can be dealt with by coming up with good road designs,” the Minister said.
“We built a dual carriage road from Tonota to Francistown including the Spaghetti Interchange in a bid to improve the flow of traffic and do away with congestion. Sadly when you arrive at Francistown bus rank, it is highly congested affecting the flow of traffic. I was at the Francistown Bus Rank just yesterday and I was disappointed as there was nowhere to put my foot. I have since made a suggestion that the bus rank should be relocated and allow the taxis and combis to use the infrastructure. That would help open the roads in the city,” he added.
He said he will further engage the Francistown City Council in that regard. Mokaila was answering a question from one of the Chadibe residents who wanted to know the role played by the councils and government in managing and planning different roads.
Updating Chadibe residents on the proposed Mandunyane- Mathangwane road he said the road was long overdue. He assured the villagers that tendering should be done by October this year.
“The road is expected to cost government over P750 million. I am aware that this road was long proposed in 2006. Due to financial challenges, the project was shelved but what I can assure you is that finally the project has been financed and it is due to begin construction next year,” he said.
He said the road will pass through and link several villages among others Mandunyane, Shashe Mooke, Borolong, Makobo, Chadibe and Mathangwane villages.