Youth, Culture and Sports minister Shaw Kgathi has expressed concern at the poor workmanship and late delivery of contractors who have been engaged to develop sports infrastructure ahead of the 2010 South Africa World Cup.
“The performance of the contractors in the development of sports infrastructure presents a major challenge and a source of great anxiety. Original timelines for the completion of projects are never adhered to. These delays in the completion of projects result in cost overruns,” said Kgathi in parliament when presenting his ministry’s budget proposal.
The re-grassing of the University of Botswana Stadium, which was funded by government, was finally completed behind schedule by a second contractor, after the first one failed to meet his contractual obligations.
The Francistown, National and Lobatse stadia, which should be 100% complete by now, are not yet complete. As at February 2010, they were at 62%, 83% and 84% rate of completion respectively.
“A total of P109 million is requested to complete the construction of the two integrated sports facilities at Francistown and Lobatse as well as the refurbishment of the National Stadium. The provision of good quality facilities of international standard is a pre-requisite for the promotion of excellence in sport to encourage national competitiveness,” said Kgathi.
The cost of the refurbishment of the National Stadium rose from P68 million to a staggering P200 million.
Last year, it was reported that the new Francistown Stadium, which is under construction, is 22 % behind schedule.
The issue of late delivery of projects and poor workmanship in government’s development projects have for a long time been a cause for concern, especially with President Ian Khama’s insistence on delivery. The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Johnny Swartz, recently complained that very few government projects are completed within time.
“If they do, then the quality of the end product leaves a lot to be desired. Statistics from Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime show that the construction industry is one of the most corrupt,” he said.
The delay in completion of sports facilities has quashed any hopes that Botswana might have entertained about attracting a foreign national team to practice in Botswana during the World Cup.