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SSKIA, Francistown Airport to be completed in July

PAULINE DIKUELO
Sir Seretse Khama airport was supposed to be completed in 2010
Expansion and construction works at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) and Francistown airport will be fully completed by the beginning of next month, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told on Wednesday.

Responding to a question from MP for Nata-Gweta Polson Majaga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure Science and Technology (MIST) Dikagiso Mokotedi said government is set to takeover the completed projects next month.

 “For the SSKIA, I understand the initial take over date was July, but we will be taking over the project end of July this year. By end of May the project was 89 percent complete,” revealed Mokotedi

According to Mokotedi, the contractor delayed as he had a problem with tiling as the recommended tiles were supposed to be imported from Italy.

Another factor that contributed to the delay, was the designing of the acoustics as the modeling is said to have taken the contractor more time than initially estimated.

“The landscape was also re-adjusted to hard landscape, which does not require watering compared to the first one.  “As I speak,

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the plane pitch and running track are both complete,” said Mokotedi.

He added that there were still a few minor construction issues left to be addressed, which by next month would have been wrapped up. The P550million SSKIA expansion contract was initially awarded to a Chinese company, SinoHydro before the contract was terminated due to failure to complete the project on time.  Sinohydro had been contracted to build a state-of-the-art terminal and expand the airport’s runway in compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards.   Government’s initial plan was for the airport to accommodate more travellers, especially during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in. South Africa. Stefanutti Stocks Botswana was then engaged to complete the project within eight months, which was due in March this year. They were mostly doing the maintenance work, repairs, reinstallations and replacements.



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