A Chinese contractor who was awarded a tender for multi million Pula road projects has blamed shortage of raw materials and lack of manpower as part of the reasons for the delay in the completion of the assignments.
Ren Chaofeng, the Business Manager of Sino-hydro, admitted that he does not know the time when their behind schedule half a billion pula projects of Hukuntsi to Kang road, which has cost the government P553,980,457 million, and Francistown to Ramokgwebana road, which has cost P386,393, 299.29, will be completed .
Though admitting that the projects were behind schedule, he declined to say by how many months.
”Not by many months and we are not to blame for all this,” he said.
Chaofeng identified the shortage of raw materials, such as quarry needed for rehabilitation of Kang/Hukuntsi road, as one of the reasons for the delay.
This problem has greatly affected their performance on that road, mainly because it took a longer time for government to give them permission to mine quarry in the area.
He suggested that any other company, which would have won the tender, could have faced the same problem resulting in the delay.
He denied the delay was caused by resignations of some of the company’ senior engineers who complained of poor working conditions.
He said the reason for the delay in the completion of Francistown/Ramokgwebana road was because of lack or shortage of manpower to do the job.
He revealed that they are failing to acquire the necessary skills as fast as they should have liked because of the delay in obtaining work and residence permits for the employees they would have hired from China.
“That is not true, we have a lot of locals working for us as we pay more than other companies,” he said.
Chaofeng said the idea to blacklist non performing companies will be counter productive because companies like his, with skills and that are cheaper, will be driven out of the market leaving expensive companies that government will not afford.
Before a decision to blacklist a company is reached, he suggested that an assessment be made to see if there were valid reasons for the delays.