Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration minister, Eric Molale told Parliament on Friday that a good number of the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) projects are behind schedule.
Molale also could not ascertain the total number of permanent jobs created as per the question from Gaborone North legislator Haskins Nkaigwa.
Nkaigwa had asked for amongst other things infrastructural projects funded and completed on time, total amount utilised as well as employment creation to date.
In response, Molale said the budget for the ESP projects planned for the financial year 2016/17 is P2.2 billion and by the end of January 2017 the contract amounts for awarded projects stood at P1.9 billion. He said there are a total of 3,652 projects implemented across 10 ministries.
Molale said of the 10 ministries implementing ESP projects, five - being Ministries of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Local Government and Rural Development, Basic Education, Land Management, Water and Sanitation, and Infrastructure and Housing Development - have projects that have been completed as at the end of January 2017.
“Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security has seven completed projects and only two were completed on time. The main reasons for the delay was the late delivery of projects input which were ordered outside the country for the Glenn Valley Rehabilitation Project,” he said. Molale said the delay in the grading of roads to production area was due to high tender prices, which resulted in re-scoping of the project, and had to be done in-house.
He said under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, 11 customary courts out of 30 awarded have been completed with extension of time because the contractors were having delays in supply and delivery of materials. He said the remaining 19 are ongoing and expected to
With the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Molale said it has 18 completed projects, of which 14 were completed within time, while four were completed after extension of time. “The major reason for the delays was due to the variations on site in the minimal land servicing projects. The projects were awarded based on the approved layout of the targeted areas without extensive soil investigations. This has now been rectified,” he said.
Molale said the Ministry of Basic Education has 16 completed projects of which 14 were completed within time. He said the other two projects were delayed because of the late delivery of materials and delayed award of electrical and mechanical contracts.
Molale said the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development has 1,285 SHHA Turnkey houses completed on time against targeted 1,500, 128 public officers housing initiative units completed on time against the targeted 540 and 500 pool housing maintenance completed on time. He said the other projects in the Ministry are ongoing and are on schedule.
“Regarding employment creation, 20,042 people were employed through awarded ESP projects by the end of November 2016 out of which 19,907 were citizens and only 120 were non-citizens,” he said. However Molale could not give an exact number when Nkaigwa asked how many permanent jobs were created. He only gave an example of teachers being employed as classrooms are created.