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FCC, contractor wrangle delays road construction

CHAKALISA DUBE
Road construction
FRANCISTOWN: A legal battle between the Francistown City Council (FCC) and a local construction company, Wind of Glory PTY (LTD) has delayed the construction of the much anticipated Molapo Estates access road and Khutse loop, Mmegi has established.

The tender for the construction of the road was awarded on December 29, 2019. However, for some time, there has been confusion as to why the project is yet to take off.

Despite being one of the up market locations in the city, Molapo Estate has poor road networks.

This week, Francistown mayor Godisang Radisigo explained why the P5 million project is yet to take off more than a year after the tender was awarded.

When briefing the council during an ordinary council meeting, Radisigo noted that the main reason for the delay in the execution of the project was a result of an ongoing court case between Wind of Glory and the city council.

“The case in relation to the awarding of the Molapo Estates access road and Khutse loop tender is at the High Court. A ruling on the case is expected to be made on the 31st of March,” said the mayor.

Radisigo said that the court case would determine what would happen to the access road tender. In a follow up interview with Mmegi yesterday, the FCC spokesperson Mandla Hlabano stated that the tender was awarded to Wind of Glory but had to be halted in order for the council to preside over an appeal brought by another local construction company, Black Rubie Properties.

Black Rubie Properties had questioned some modalities in relation to the awarding of the tender. Wind of

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Glory is said to have decided to take the council to court after the decision to halt the tender was taken in order to address an appeal by Black Rubie.

Meanwhile, Radisigo also told the councillors that the council has since the beginning of the year registered 10 appeals in relation to some of its tenders awarded to local companies. He added that of the 10 tenders, two had already been effectively dealt with. “The other eight appeals were registered in March this year and concerned waste collection, services, cleaning of streets as well as open spaces and paving of internal roads amongst others.

I hope that the appeals will be disposed off in the next two weeks. Appeals cannot be avoided, as it is the right of every bidder to seek redress if they feel aggrieved,” said the mayor without offering the exact reasons for the appeals.

Radisigo further emphasised that, the council process of dealing with appeals should be expedited to avoid delays in execution of projects. In addition, he noted that delays in execution of some projects as a result of appeals often lead to cost escalations.

The mayor expressed concern that some tenders are also delayed because of unnecessary appeals from some of the bidding companies.

“Bidders should also take responsibility and ensure that they do not delay projects unnecessarily (with their appeals that have no merits).”



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