The P25 million Ramotswa-Boatle road project has not been shelved as previously feared by residents, with work expected to resume in weeks according to Kabo Kote, the Director of Roads and Transport.
The road construction project, which involves sealing and shouldering a 9 kilometre stretch, was halted after the contractor, Estate Construction, got on a collision course with tribal authorities over lack of consultation over the use of a burrow pit. The matter has since been resolved according to Kote.
The delay in the project notwithstanding, Kote says he is optimistic the contractor has the capacity to complete the project after┬ádealing with the hurdle┬áof hopping from one burrow pit to the other while motorists choke on a dusty portion of the road.
“The Department of Roads has been watering the dirty road since December up to now. We have not been instructed by the Department that it is our responsibility. If that is the case, we are waiting for instruction from our consultants,” says Wilson Zinhondo.
He disclosed that his company has obtained surface rights from the Malete Land Board for a burrow pit saying what remained was for the Department of Mines to issue the company with a mining licence. Without the licence, no mining activity can take place at Seribe. The process of obtaining mining licence can be laborious as it involves conducting several studies and consulting all stakeholders extensively before issuance of the licence.
The indefinite delay in the construction of the road, which links Botswana with South Africa, and the sight of men moving street lamp poles have raised fears among residents that the project had been shelved.
The contractor has since allayed those fears┬ásaying what was happening was that the street lights poles were being moved about 1.5 metres from the road.
Motorists have to make do with the bumpy dusty portion of the road where the contractor has completely removed bitumen from the old road. They also have to negotiate potholes and, at the same time, avoid hitting rocks that have been strewn along the road shoulder for purposes of widening the road while they await construction to resume.