At least P1.7 billion is required to spruce up and maintain the city’s roads, with the cash strapped Gaborone City Council (GCC) currently at sixes and sevens about where that funding will come from.
City mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe said the longer the problem remained unresolved, the more money would be eventually required for the project.
“Unless these are addressed sooner rather than later, we run the real risk of encountering significant cost escalations,” he told Mmegi yesterday. “We need to come up with innovative strategies on how to access sources of funding by treating these as distinct, individual and specific projects.”
Thutlwe said it was disappointing that in the meantime, government was focussed on spending billions for new military aircraft. He said a middle income country’s priorities, particularly during peace time, should be heavily skewed towards the development agenda rather than military spending.
“In my view, it really requires rudimentary logic and common sense to appreciate how far the re-allocation of funds intended for the procurement of just two military aircrafts, would go towards our development agenda and refurbishment of internal roads within this great city. We just simply need to get our act and priorities right as a nation,” he said.
The Mayor said in the capital, most tarred roads have reached their life span and council is working tirelessly to address the problem.
“It will not be possible to rebuild all affected roads due to lack of funding. Currently some roads are being maintained as a stop-gap measure.
“Only the maintenance of two roads, Maratadiba Road and Paul Rantao, were funded from last year’s Fuel Levy fund. “The project was allocated P14,785,152.00 and works commenced March 1st 2017, to finish this week,” he said.
However the mayor said it was troubling that the tenders were awarded at ministerial level, making it difficult to assign accountability to the local authority, which has oversight.