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Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC)
Road Project Delay Explained
30/06/11
The Director of Roads Kabo Kote has told Local Government authorities at Sowa Township near Francistown, that construction of the 40kilometres road from Sowa junction to Sua Pan is anticipated to be completed in November 2011

CHALLENGES OF SOWA JUNCTION TO SUA PAN ROAD CONSTRUCTION EXPLAINED TO LOCAL AUTHORITES,…writes Doreen Moapare

The Director of Roads Kabo Kote has told Local Government authorities at Sowa Township near Francistown, that construction of the 40kilometres road from Sowa junction to Sua Pan is anticipated to be completed in November 2011. He was addressing their June 2011 full council meeting.  

Mr. Kote made an apology to the councillors for the delay in completion of the project citing initial challenges which setback the actual start of construction. They included a hold-up on negotiations between the Roads Department (RD) and relevant authorities to source out construction material and water. This led to a financial build-up on costs, and therefore the budget to maintain the diversion route was compromised. The diversion route was built at a cost of approximately four million pula (P4,000,000. 00) from an initial two million (P2,000,000. 00).   

Sowa junction to Sua Pan Project is an approximately one hundred and twenty million Pula (P120, 000, 000. 00) project. Construction activities began in May 2009. The works are one of the seven (7) on-going development projects that RD is undertaking in their quest to improve Botswana’s quality of roads for the road user. Others are Ngoma-Kachikau, Nata-Pandamatenga, Francistown- Ramokgwebana, Gaborone-Tlokweng Border post, Gaborone-Metsimotlhabe, and Kang-Hukuntsi road construction projects.

There are also major maintenance works to improve the condition of existing roads. They include Molepolole main trunk road, Thebephatswa-Letlhakeng Road, Oodi-Modipane Road, Gaborone-Boatle Road, and Nata-Pandamatenga Road. The works include an increase on the road shoulders

and resealing.  The councilors also asked if there is any compensation for damage to cars due to potholes. The Director briefed that there is currently no legislature for such reimbursement, but urged drivers to obey speed regulations and avoid such unfortunate incidences.

Patching of potholes is clearly top on the priority list for the RD and is one of the activities regularly carried out by the maintenance division despite an annual tight budget at an average of one hundred and forty million Pula (P140, 000, 000.00). With a huge network of more about 20, 000 kilometers RD in its strategy will source out funds required to maintain the public highway network to its desired stage.

Although analysts say potholes contribute to some of Botswana’s Road accidents, lack of discipline on the roads can also be blamed. Like over speeding unnecessarily and unable to avoid hitting any potholes. From an average of some 20,000 road crashes per year, almost 500 persons die unnecessarily, but mainly due to poor driving habits.

On other issues Mr. Kote briefed the full council on the taking over of Local Government Roads by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) in accordance with Cabinet Memo 32 of 2011. Since the memo came into effect on April 1st 2011, the Department of Roads is now responsible for 93% of the total public highway network, while 7% remains with Local Government. That will bring in budgetary and human resource challenges that RD and the MTC are working hard at. Source: Department of Roads Public Relations Office; June 2011. Our Vision is to have “To have world class roads leading to prosperity”.

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