A Botswana Power Corporation official has promised Ntlo ya Dikgosi a defect-free Morupule B power expansion project amid increasing doubts over the workmanship of the country’s expensive and massive infrastructure at the hands of the Chinese contractors.
An array of Chinese contractors has found a comfortable niche in the country, developing the middle class Botswana’s rapid infrastructure, ranging from schools, roads to stadiums, which fall apart soon after they are completed – stirring a negative perception over their quick but unsustainable workmanship.
This bad scenario did not escape the attention of Ntlo ya Dikgosi who, at a meeting with the Morupule B power expansion project administrators on Wednesday, wasted no time and vent their displeasure.
“Currently, we are in the employ of seasoned civil, mechanical and electrical employees who work as consultants, manning and monitoring every development that takes place in the areas of their specialties,” BPC engineering manager, Modiri Badirwang, said in response to a complaint raised by Barolong paramount chief Lotlaamoreng II, who was alarmed at the period the contractor took to complete the massive and complex project.
“We are working around the clock to ensure the project is default free. We have a committed lot who would not leave anything to chance,” Badirwang reassured.
Started in February, Morupule B power station is expected to be complete by October 2012 with almost the essential components at the advanced stage to date.
The project energy production is envisaged to satisfy the country’s power needs while the excess will be exported to neighbouring countries.
BPC, in conjunction with the government, ventured into the project with each injecting a 50 percent of the required P11 billion to see the project material.
Failing to satisfy its customers’ needs, South African utility company, Eskom, whose power services Botswana heavily depended on, literally turned off almost all the switches, leaving Botswana facing severe shortages.
Ntlo ya Dikgosi, formerly House of Chiefs, consists of traditional leaders. They were by the BPC for on the spot visit.
Producing 600mw, 4 times the size of the Morupule A power station, the state of the art Morupule B power station is destined to illuminate Botswana while creating employment.
While they appreciated measures intended to combat pollution and safe guard the environment, the same could not be said about the limestone, which is imported from South Africa, with the Chiefs saying that it is tantamount to exporting money outside the country.
They questioned the rationale of obtaining sandstone from South Africa when there is plenty of the same in Botswana to reduce poisonous gases, such as sulphur, produced from the burning of coal to produce electricity.