Francistown Mayoress, Sylvia Muzila has warned contractors who will benefit the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) to desist from exploiting workers as this might lead to failure of the projects.
Addressing contractors at a consultative meeting to update contractors in about the ESP, Muzila said her office is inundated with reports of contractors who have a tendency of exploiting their employees.
“We know that some contractors pay their employees late, pay them low wages or refuse to pay them altogether. I must warn those who will benefit from the ESP to desist from such abuse. We will be keeping a vigilant eye on them and action will be taken against those who break the law,” she said.
She added that the ESP was started by government to empower Batswana and not to impoverish them.
“How do you expect them to make a living if you pay them paltry wages or pay them late?” she asked.
Muzila further raised concerns about corruption among some contractors and council employees, urging everyone to report any corrupt activities to the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). She further urged contractors who will benefit from the programme to ensure that they deliver the projects on time and within budget to ensure that they deliver the required results of economic development.
“My wish is to see most of the contracts in Francistown being won by companies that are local. However, this is not to say that contractors who are from outside the city will not be considered or given tenders,” she said.
For his part, City Clerk Lebuile Israel urged contractors to follow procedures when expressing their interests in the ESP tenders. He said most contractors normally fail to comply with tender requirements and lose out on lucrative tenders. Israel further revealed that projects that will be undertaken under the ESP in Francistown include construction of 20 teachers’ houses, three class rooms and three students’ toilets.