Civic leaders challenge WUC to consult stakeholders

PALAPYE: Councillors in Palapye have challenged Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) to consult them during all stages of project implementation in the village.

Speaking during WUC leadership stakeholders meeting in Palapye last week, the civic leaders complained that some projects in the area have failed and some were completed late because of lack of consultation.

Oteng Mapharanyane, an employee of WUC told the meeting that the corporation had embarked on multiple projects nationwide. He said Palapye is one of the areas included in the major villages water supply distribution network rehabilitation as a long-term solution to improve the supply situation. He said the project entails the rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing water supply networks to improve capacity and efficiency. The tender has been awarded to Bergstan contractors. China Jiangsu International will do the majority of the work while 30 percent has been reserved for the citizen contractor Warthog Civil Engineering. 

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Palapye, Moiseraele Goya said that he trusted the contractors involved in the project because he knows the companies. He expressed displeasure with delays in the completion of projects in the constituency. “In the past, some have said Palapye is cursed when it comes to projects. Right now, we have a glass factory which is still incomplete. Other projects like Morupule B, BIUST and police took more time to complete. So I plead with the contractors to complete these projects within the time frame stipulated. Please work within the time frame and communicate in time when there is a problem. We do not want a situation whereby a company will communicate at the last minute when they are expected to hand over the project. You have to consider the fact that water is one of the important aspects of life,” said Goya.

He asked the contractors to recruit unskilled labour from Palapye so that the residents of the village can benefit from the project. He also urged them to source materials and supplies from Palapye.

Councillor for Khurumela ward, George Makhura urged the contractors to do the project well as they promised. He said that in most cases, contractors make promises but do not deliver as expected.

Meanwhile, the director of Bergstan, Simon Mmopi promised that they will complete the project in time and that they will consult them in all the stages.

“We promise to complete the project within the time frame stipulated and we are definite that we will meet every three months. In our contract, we have forced the contractor to hire a community labour officer. That is the person who will be working with the community and he or she should be one of the senior managers. The person will be a link person between the contract and the community,” assured Mmopi.

He said they would insist that the contractor looks for someone who knows Palapye. He said citizens would do most of the work especially those that do not require skills.

China Jiangsu International project manager, Peter Simon, told stakeholders that an estimation of 100-150 employees would be needed for the project. He said that they would be hiring Palapye residents and other Batswana for the project. Section one of the project is due for completion by January 2016. Second two should be completed by October 2016.

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