- Contractor threatens court action should he be terminated
- Govt insists contractor abandoned project
- ‘I completed the work I was assigned to do’ – contractor
- Council Chairman says pertinent issues not presented to council
- Regrets court action would lead to further delays
- Task team to meet minister on the matter
It appears the Maun General Hospital refurbishment project may take a little longer before it is finally completed, handed over and serving the community it is intended to serve. This as revelations have surfaced that the furore surrounding the project may be headed to court following government’s intentions to terminate the contract with current contractor, Net Builders(Pty) Ltd.
Progress of the hospital has remained stagnant at 90% completion stage since October 2021 owing to the contractor reportedly abandoning the site.
The Department of Building Works Development and Maintenance Area Officer Othusitse Bethia previously told the North West District Council that the main contractor had abandoned site and showed no intentions of completing the works hence they recommended for the termination of the contract.
He said the contractor has however failed to complete and handover buildings, which they call ‘sectional handover’ until the project is complete in order to reduce the burden for him to complete and handover the whole project.
This according to him has since led to perpetual vandalism of already completed works and break-ins which further results to the delay.
The contractor, Net Builders (PTY) LTD Managing Director Edward Totego has however disputed the assertions, and has since threatened to drag government to court should the contract be terminated, arguing that his company has long completed its part of the project.
According to him, the remaining works which includes installation of a nurse’s call which will be used by patients to call nurses from the wards and data networking were both sub-contracted to a different company.
“We have long done our part of the construction as agreed, should they go ahead with terminating our contract yet we are not at fault I will take the matter to court,” he threatened.
He noted that they have not been on site because they have nothing left to do, adding that they are awaiting the sub-contractors to complete their work and hand over the project. Totego said they are yet to meet with council and the sub-contractors next week to map a way forward.
Meanwhile NWDC Chairman Itumeleng Kelebetseng has noted following their meeting with the contractor that they have realised that what was presented before council was not detailed enough.
In an interview, he indicated that from his analysis, the main issue holding the completion of the hospital is contractual issues which he said were not presented before council during updates.
Kelebetseng further indicated that should the issue go to court, the completion and handover of the project will be delayed due to lengthy court processes. He further revealed that a task team is set to meet the Minister and map a way forward.
“We are proposing that such projects should be financed and handed over to council for adequate supervision, currently projects such as the Maun general hospital one are supervised at Gaborone and if we want answers as council they come from Gaborone yet the project is in Maun,” Kelebetseng said.
The Maun General Hospital Refurbishment saga is the one that led to toppling the then council chairman Kebareeditse Ntsogotho and his deputy Lekonne Masoko through a motion of no confidence after councilors all agreed that the duo have failed to address the issue.