FRANCISTOWN: The long awaited 27,000-seater Francistown Stadium will miss the June 8 handover deadline, but the contractor China Jiangsu International is confident the facility would be handed over to the government before the end of July. The project manager, James Tasethabi said the contractor had requested a 35-day extension.
“The main contractor (Jiangsu) is doing remedial works and has asked for an extension from the June 8 deadline by 35 days, meaning that the stadium will be ready by the end of July. “So far the stadium and overall renovations are almost 90 percent complete. The pitch and works within the ground area is 98 percent ready,” Tasethabi said.
“As for the remedial works, what is remaining is intense finishing of specialisation areas such as electronics and other mechanical fittings. For now, until the handover in July, we will also be carrying out tests on some electronic and mechanical systems we have installed around the stadium.” Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Science Infrastructure and Technology (MIST), Dikagiso Mokotedi said the contractor requested an extension because of delays caused by the Christmas break and other minor remedial works that kept on cropping up during renovations.
Mokotedi said government consultants have done well supervising the remedial works at the stadium since the termination of a contract for a consultant who was initially engaged to supervise the project. The Minister of Sports Youth and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng expressed delight at the way the stadium remedial works have been handled.
“I will make a recommendation to government that consultants should supervise major government construction projects to prevent shoddy jobs and cost overruns caused by the incompetence of private consultants engaged to supervise state projects. “Government consultants have proved that they can supervise major projects based on the good job they have done with regards to this stadium,” he said. China Jiangsu was in April last year awarded a tender to do remedial works at the cost of P90 million at the stadium. The Francistown stadium construction begun in 2007 and was to be handed prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but could not meet the deadline due to poor workmanship from the initial contractor.
Jiangsu’s assignment was to correct defects caused by the initial contractor, Tuwana Construction whose services were terminated by the government in 2012 for poor workmanship. A consultant engaged to supervise the project also had his contract terminated.