Saturday, January 16, 2021

Lobatse Stadium pitch to be redone

The Director for Department of Building Engineering Services (DBES), Ulf Soderstrom, has announced that the contracting company for the Lobatse Stadium has agreed to re-do the sub layers and drainage system of the stadium at his own cost. The reconstruction is expected to commence end of November and the stadium will be up and running end of January 2012.

In 2008, government decided to fast track implementation of construction of stadia to take advantage of the 2010 World Cup, an attempt that did not materialize and to date the projects are not complete.

Soderstrom was speaking at a media briefing conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the progress of their projects. The country’s stadiums that have been under construction include the National Sports Stadium, Lobatse Stadium and the Francistown Stadium.

The Lobatse Stadium, which has cost P211 million was officially opened a few months ago by visiting Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika but was later found to have a poor drainage system on its soccer pitch.

The contractor was thus required to re-do the job at his own cost. Part of the reason for the poor drainage was the poor mix of soil used on the pitch. The contractor is therefore remixing the soil to the required texture that would ease drainage of the pitch. Soderstrom said this is good news for the country as they will be a stadium operating in good condition.

In addition, he said the progress on the National Sports Stadium has been hindered by an ongoing legal process.

“Once the whole process is completed, we will be able to address the defects on the stadium and rectify them.”

In the same vein, the Minister of Infrastructure Science and Technology, Johnie Swartz, said, “When the national stadium is complete we want to be able to take pride in it.”

Swartz said the pitch part of the stadium is what is left but he highlighted that if the stadium is not in good condition after completion the ministry will not take over.

Speaking on the Francistown Stadium, the Permanent Secretary MIST, Carter Morupisi, admitted that the problems on the stadium were from their part. Morupisi said that “the majority of issues on the Francistown stadium are due to the poor workmanship and numerous design defects”.

He said they have since engaged a design audit team to scrutinize thoroughly the designs at every stage.

Swartz said the ministry has come up with interventions to strengthen the monitoring and control measures in executing projects that include responsibility for approving variations, scope change, ensuring that at the planning stage. Designs are checked for completeness and at completion a thorough inspection is conducted to ensure compliance.

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