- P10m initially allocated from road levy
- Remedial works cost extra P1.3m
The refurbishment of the now defunct Mahalapye Bus Rank cost the government P11.3 million in earlier makeover and current remedial works, The Business Weekly & Review has established.
Investigations by this publication show that using money sourced from the road levy and allocated to Mahalapye-Sub District Council and machinery from the Central District Council (CDC) what began as a facelift resulted in a worse state. The refurbishment of the bus rank, which was notorious for its poor water drainage, was scheduled to start in June 2021 and end in October 2021. The scope of the project entailed erecting the parameter fence, installing tower lights and building public ablution facilities and connecting them to the main sewage line. This reportedly cost P400 000.
Another aspect of the project was to create a drainage system with three channels. The Business Weekly & Review is made to understand that companies were engaged for all the components of the project except for raising of bus rank by 400mm up (paving and raising), which was done internally by the council through the Ipelegeng programme. The raising of the rank was linked to ensuring proper drainage.
However, it has emerged that the project was yet to be completed in December 2021 when council authorities opened a part of the rank for use by travellers in the festive season. According to investigations, that is when the chaos began. The surface of two heavy duty bus lanes opened for temporary use began to crack, prompting the government to dispatch a team of geoscientists who carried out an assessment and published a report. According to a reliable source, the assessment done in January and February this year and the council subsequently awarded a contract for remedial works at the rank.
P1.3m for reconstruction
This publication understands that with specified tender details gleaned from the assessment report and its recommendations, a contract was initially awarded to one company and signed on 30 May. However, this did not come cheap. The Business Weekly & Review is reliably informed that for remedial works, an extra P1.3 million was allocated and the contractor given six to seven weeks to completed the work. This publication can confirm that the work at Mahalapye Bus Rank rank has disrupted business there and public transport logistics seriously hampered. Informal sector traders – hawkers and vendors – have asked to relocate.
Reached for comment on Wednesday night, Senior Assistant Council Secretary of Mahalapye Sub-District Council Gomolemo Moepeng, said she would revert to this publication with accurate figures in the morning. Meanwhile, a speech presented by the Chairman of Mahalapye Sub-District Council, Bantlhasetse Merementsi, laid bare the sad reality of poor workmanship at the bus rank that is costing the taxpayer dearly and its repercussions on people’s lives. Merementsi stated that a total of P1.3 million was allocated for the reconstruction of bus bays.
“The council has been allocated funds amounting to P1.4 million to help reconstruct failed portions and a local citizen company has been identified for the project implementation for P1 325 672.37,” he told a council meeting recently. The contractor started 6 June 2021 and the bus rank will remain sealed until completion of the remedial works. In his speech, Merementsi said the council will monitor progress to see to it that the project is completed within schedule.