Millions Blown Away In The Incomplete Agricultural Centre


An estimated P16 million used for the construction of the Gumare Agricultural Service Center has gone down the drain as contractors engaged on the project has failed to complete it, despite having been allocated funds.

The project followed after former minister of Agriculture, Patrick Ralotsia lobbied for construction of service centers in rural areas and it was subsequently resolved for them to build in Gumare, Sefhare and Mmathethe respectively.

Construction of these centres was meant to enable accessibility of services by farmers in rural areas. The centres were also meant to serve as a hub for innovative farming practices, providing farmers easy access to quality agricultural inputs.

However, the Gumare project remains incomplete after two contractors failed the project.

Speaking during the Okavango District Council full session recently, nominated councillor Keokeditse Rangosa revealed that the project was initially awarded a total amount of P9 million but the contractor then failed to finish the project. She said it was then awarded to another contactor at an amount of P7 million in the 2019/20 financial year and it turns out that the latter also failed the job.

The District Development Committee (DDC) report, also indicated that the contract for the proposed completion and maintenance of centre has also been terminated at 40% physical progress due to non-performance. The report further notes that the Ministry of Agriculture is currently working towards appointing a new contractor to complete the project.

Giving an update on the project North West District Agricultural Coordinator Onkemetse Mathemabe confirmed that the ministry is in the process of engaging another contractor to finish up the service centre. 

She noted that collection of snag list for the remaining works was done on the 15th June 2023 adding that their anticipation is that the contract will be awarded in September this year.

Earlier councillor Rangosa had warned that should there be more delays on the project government will find itself spending more funds on the same.

“The project has long been awarded and I believe we are losing so such money because of lack of supervision of projects, we need to put a hand in supervising projects across the District and avoid losing money and delaying developments,” she advised.

Rangosa has also criticised ODC Chairperson’s speech for having omitted an update of the centre reiterating that government has already injected more money on the project than it was initially planned. She said the chairperson should have touched base on the challenges facing the project and how the council intends to ensure that the project is complete and serve the purpose it was meant for.


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