Mmegi Online :: Kang-Hukuntsi road halts as Sinohydro demands payment
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Last Updated
Thursday 24 May 2018, 11:49 am.
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Kang-Hukuntsi road halts as Sinohydro demands payment

Chinese Construction Company, Sinohydro says it has suspended works on the 115 km Kang-Hukuntsi road following a five months delay in payment of a P23 million cheque government owes the contractor.
By BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Kang-Hukuntsi road halts as Sinohydro demands payment








In an interview, Kang-Hukuntsi road project manager Yan Xing Hua said that they have been forced to stop all surface works on the rehabilitation of the road with only 40 km left before completion as they have run of out money to buy bitumen and diesel.

 Following several months stoppage in the rehabilitation of the road last year, due to a standoff on the usage of the Lokgwabe quarry, government and the company reached a compensation settlement in December last year amounting to P23 million which was supposed to be paid, according to the settlement agreement, within a one month period.

" Up to date, we still have not received that payment and we cannot continue to run this operation from our pockets because we have incurred so many debts," said Yang.  The P23 million compensation to Sinohydro was for the delay on the road construction caused by the late provision of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report necessary in obtaining a mining licence for the operation of the quarry, where Sinohydro was to obtain gravel stones raw material.

According to the agreement, which was signed by Roads department director Kabo Kote and former Sinohydro managing director Ren Chaofeng in December last year, government agreed to extend the contract period by 7.5 months from the previous completion date.

"The date of completion for the project is revised to 15 May 2012. "The lump sum amount of P23 million is to be paid by the employer (government) to the contractor within one month from the date of

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agreement," read the agreement document.

According to Yan, the delay in the payment of the compensation has forced them to suspend the laying of the otta seal on the road because of cashflow problems.  "Although we are left with just about 40 km to complete the road, we can no longer finance the project from our own resources " All the workers on site are now just working on road markings and kerbstones," he said

Contacted for comment on Wednesday, principal public relations officer in the department Doreen Moapare said that she needed at least a week to investigate the issue. "I will investigate your issues and come back to you with something  substantial next Wednesday," she said. This in not the first time that the construction company has blamed delays in payments from government for the extension of contracts periods. In an interview last November last year, Ren raised concerns that payment delays, constant variations to original designs and additional works were to blame for the Sir Seretse Khama international airport (SSKIA) expansion project's delivery and escalating costs.

Ren said that after accepting the SSKIA contract under a fast track programme with a tight schedule, the project has been marred by constant delayed payment for the work done. "This in turn has affected the company's ability to procure materials and pay subcontractors, thus impacting on  agreed delivery timeframes.  "Payment has been a problem both in terms of agreed amounts and times right from the start of the project in 2008," said Ren.

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