Government is continuing to lose millions of pula in abandoned projects by the contractors, this was revealed by the acting Minister of Minister of Transport and Communications Kitso Mokaila in parliament in parliament.
Mokaila informed parliament that the ministry of Transport and Communications has a total of seven projects which were abandoned by the contractors all being road projects. “These include drainage works and resealing projects, ranging between P205 017.12 and P50 516 362.85,” he revealed.
In 2017/18 four projects were abandoned while in 2018/19 three were abandoned and these were in respect to road-related water drainage, while four were dealt with road-construction or maintenance.
On reasons why the projects were abandoned, Mokaila revealed that reasons varied but include amongst others contractors’ cash flow problems, poor project implementation by the contractor and apparent and admitted underpricing of the works.
Construction industry has viewed as being riddled with corruption which includes bribing procurement officers and Mokaila confirmed that there are those who try and connive to ensure the wrong people get tenders.
Member of Parliament for Nkange Edwin Batshu enquired from the minister what they are going to ensure that projects are not abandoned. Mokaila said that thought he cannot guarantee that there will be no re-occurrence of the adversity, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is taking immediate steps to mitigate the adversity. “Based on the corrective steps which are underway, I expect in future to have fewer such cases; starting in financial year 2020/2021, if not sooner,” he answered.
He said they are presently engaging with other stakeholders in the construction industry, key ones being Engineers’ Registration Board (ERB), the Association of Consulting Engineers Botswana (ACEB) and the Botswana Institute of Engineers (BIE). “We are working on a collaborative effort (with Government) aimed at improving on the planning, pricing and execution of projects and their timely delivery,” he said.