The P1.7 billion Boatle- Game City dual carriageway is only 25 percent complete and is likely to be completed way after its scheduled time, Parliament has been told.
The reconstruction of the road is meant to defuse traffic congestion along this section of the A1 Road. The start date of the project is the 24th March 2017 and it is expected to completed on the 23rd March 2019.
Scope of works include the upgrading of the existing 23KM Gaborone - Boatle Road from a single carriageway (2 lanes) to dual carriageway (4 lanes) road of bituminous standard with associated geometric improvements including an interchange at Boatle Junction. Answering a question in Parliament, Minister of Transport and Communications, Kitso Mokaila said the progress on the construction of Boatle-Game City Road project to date is at 25 per cent against a planned 33 per cent target. It is unlikely that the project will be completed on time and within the initially approved budget.
He attributed the delay to the late acquisition of burrow pits, late relocation of services at Boatle Junction and Kgale. The contractor has already submitted a claim for extension of time, with costs. This is currently being considered, Mokaila said in response to Member of Parliament for Ramotswa Samuel Rantuane. However, the answer attracted supplementary questions from the floor starting with Rantuana who complained that failing to complete projects on time is becoming a bad habit. He further aksed when the Boatle-Lobatse project will start. To that Mokaila said, “This is exactly why we have decided that the ministry needs what we call a programme management office for better planning of projects, ensuring that all the things that need to happen, do happen before the project actually begins. The relocation of services and acquisition of burrow pits are great delays and that is what we are trying to address. I am hoping it is not a thing for the future. With regards to the rest, it is all subject to having money”.
MP for Gaborone Bonnington North, Duma Boko asked the Minister how much the cost escalation would be and whether this will not adversely the execution of the project in a manner that makes it shoddy and substandard, in the event they are unable to raise the additional funding.
“I cannot stand here and talk of a specific figure because that would be determined as time goes on.
There is a possibility that time might catch up with us, but as far as I am concerned, we are continuing to ensure that the right quality of work is delivered. That is the change in part of the transformation of the ministry, we are ensuring that we do not compromise on quality, because we want the road to last 20-25 years, rather than finish it quickly and then last for five years. As far as the ministry is concerned we think we are doing what is right”. Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Ministry issued a public statement warning about the closure of a section of road from Game City traffic lights to allow for continued construction works on the Gaborone - Boatle road project.