Mmegi Online :: Govít probes Technology Park delay, defects
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Wednesday 21 November 2018, 15:42 pm.
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Govít probes Technology Park delay, defects

Government is carrying out an investigation to ascertain what caused the delay in the completion of the Science and Technology Park with reports that the iconic building has also developed some structural defects.
By Pauline Dikuelo Tue 19 Dec 2017, 15:59 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Govít probes Technology Park delay, defects








Addressing Parliamentarians recently, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Alfred Madigele said once the probe is complete action will be taken  against the responsible company.

“Investigations are still ongoing to establish where the problem arose, it might be the architect, contractor or supervisor, then we can take the necessary measures against whoever is at fault,” he said.

The government invested P853 million to build the Science and Technology Park and the project was supposed to have been fully completed by August 2016, but is now only expected to be by the end of next year. From the P853 million invested by government, P137 million was for extensive civil infrastructure while about P717 million was used for the construction of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) Icon building. “The civil infrastructure included internal roads, streetlights, storm-water drainage, water and electricity reticulation including establishment of a dedicated electricity substation,” he said.

The main contractor for the project is Zenghtai and Caitec (China joint venture) while the main subcontractor is Sharps Electrical (citizen owned).

The project team is made up of Shop Architects (lead architects) and Nutall Smith Architects (local architects partner), while citizen-owned company Mmile Mhutsiwa and Associates are the quantity surveyors. The structural and civil engineering is done by a joint venture between Pula Consultants (citizen owned) and WSP Consultants (SA). According to the minister, a total of 41 plots were demarcated in the Science and Technology Park, of which nine have been taken up by various companies.

He said the allocated plots are at various stages of development

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adding that another 10 plots have been set aside for special economic zones for commercial and industrial activity. In addition, he said the remaining 23 plots are earmarked for mixed use in line with the BIH strategic plan.

“The major undertaking was the BIH icon building which is 90% complete. BIH team and First Steps Venture Centre started to occupy the building at the beginning of the month,” he said.

Defects have developed on the block housing the restaurants and the auditorium and remedial works are currently on going.

Earlier this year, the minister told Parliamentarians that they have already identified 39 companies that have shown interest in leasing the office space at the innovation park buildings. Out of the 39 companies, about 20 of them are 100% citizen-owned while 19 are foreign-owned. He said they have not contracted any company to provide internet services in the buildings.

He said the number of youth companies that would occupy office space at the new state of the art BIH park buildings would be 250 with each company occupying 10 square metres with additional access to meeting places and boardrooms. Madigele said the selection would be based on the scalability, social impact, marketability, technical aspect and originality of their businesses adding that the companies will be charged a minimal rent of P2,000 per month. Recently, the BIH announced that they are expecting a total investment worth P1.5 billion in the next three years through investments of innovation and technology companies setting up shop in the Science and Technology Park.

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