Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Maun CTO depot blamed for poor service delivery across the Ngami district

Works Superintendent at Maun Central Transport Organisation (CTO), Osborn Rantshee has confirmed that indeed there have been delayed repairs on government vehicles at Maun depot.

He has attributed delays to the fact that the region does not have enough spares dealerships, adding that they only have those that supply spares for Toyota, Nissan and Man vehicles. The rest of the models, he said, they always have to order from as far as Francistown and Gaborone or even across the border into neighboring South Africa to source assistance.

CTO has been blamed by many government departments as a reason why they are not able to deliver services to the people.

In an interview with Sunday Standard Rantshee said a lot of vehicles are misallocated and do not go with the topography in Ngamiland.

He said many of the vehicles in Ngami are not suitable for the topography of that area.
Inaccessible roads and rough terrain are not good for such vehicles like Amarok and Isuzu, he said.

Because the Procurement entity does not buy brands, he said CTO usually leaves the bulk of the work to departments to give specifications which are later competed for by a range of dealerships. “I must say also that our working relations with most dealerships are not that sound as they are very slow in responding to our queries. The contractual agreement and expectation is that they should liaise with us in a manner that will also guide us on how to maintain all vehicles before we could take them into our fleet, because otherwise as receivers, we might not be aware of some conditions. I personally do not foresee any progress if they do not work on response time because it also affects us as we have to shelter all accusations directed to us by our customers at the end of the day”, he said.

Quizzed on claims by local private garages that CTO has a tendency of purposely delaying payments after repair works had been done, Rantshee said it is true, explaining however that there are always reasons leading to the delays.

“It is definitely true that we sometimes deliberately hold their payments, and it is usually because we would have agreed on certain elements with private garage owners, including the fact that shoddy jobs on our vehicles will not be tolerated, but usually most of them always choose not to put up with the terms of agreement. We have always come out clear that we will not on any day accept works which we see as substandard as it also impacts on the vehicle warranty. And so we cannot for any reason just lie low and let them do as they wish because otherwise we will be failing in our duty and be seen to be fighting a losing battle. In some cases, it is usually the issue of miscommunication amongst themselves, particularly those who have established branches here.

Procedure is we pay directly to their headquarters, most of which are in Gaborone and not at any of their branches”.

Some staff within management at the Maun CTO have in recent years also been accused of office corruption, and have had to appear before courts to answer corruption charges.

There are concerns of collusion between such officers and certain private garages on the issue of awarding tenders for the maintenance of government vehicles as well as their habit of allocating jobs for non accredited categories. Responding to the concern, Ratsheee said it is true that there have been cases of that nature within themselves even though they were done by officials whose intention was to swindle unsuspecting people of their money.

His response was justified by Works Superintendent (CTO Auto) Mathata Tshoswane who said there is also a lot of paper work done before subcontracting agreements could be met. He said: “People need to understand that we are duty bound to ensure certain subcontracting channels are rightly followed before conclusions could be met, and that allocation can never be random. There is also an independent evaluation committee comprising the manager, panel beaters, supplies officers, workshop technicians, inspection chairperson and a few others who are tasked with allocation processes, and so it is very impossible for anyone to use their powers to influence the committee as there is all the necessary transparency. There are also certain fundamentals to consider, such as ensuring that the garages we deal with are registered with the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and the Public Procurement Asset Disposal Board (PPADB),whether they are insured, have the capacity to do maintenance works and have secured workshop premises.”

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