Ministry to pump M900 million into road

Ministry to pump M900 million into road

MASERU – The Ministry of Public Works has budgeted M900 million for the construction of a 60 kilometre tarred road between Marakabei and Monontša. Principal Secretary Mothabathe Hlalele says the road will be constructed during the 2018/2019 financial year.
Parliament is expected to pass the national budget next month.

Hlalele said the road is costly “because there will be a lot of blasting as the road will go through mountains”.
He said apart from geographical issues the road “is the most expensive because it is expected to be of a first grade and a highest quality ever”.
The road will connect mountainous rural areas in Leribe and Butha-Buthe districts to the border between Lesotho and South Africa’s Free State province.

The Lesotho government is financing the road from its own resources, Hlalele said.
“The road is also intended to have a border post to accommodate the big trucks in order to minimise traffic at the Maseru border post,” Hlalele says.
“There will be buildings for the Customs Department and Lesotho Revenue Authority,” he says.
A Chinese construction company, China Geo, has been contracted to do the job.

“It is expected to be of a top quality and this contractor has done quality and top class roads such as Sani Top,” Hlalele added.
China Geo will use its funds to construct the road until July 2018 and the government will start refunding the contractor from then on.
Hlalele said 40 percent of the project will be sub-contracted to the local companies “but those sub-contractors will have to meet the standards so that the work is done efficiently and effectively”.

Minister Lehlohonolo Moramotse said the road is one the governments’ star project this year.

“It is a great achievement for a six months old government to get on,” Moramotse said.
Moramotse said the despite the lack of resources, the government is trying its best to build new roads.

“It is not like we do not want to construct roads. It is just that we do not have enough funds,” he says.
“Road construction demands much money.”

He said roads that need maintenance include Maseru to Sefikeng and several others in Maseru districts.
He said Maseru Mall circle needs to be transformed into a four-way drive to reduce congestion.

Mount Moorosi to Ha-Nthunya road construction in the Quthing district is on-going, he said.
They minister said they are also building a road from Bethel to Phamong in Mohale’s Hoek which was left incomplete by the past government.
The road from Hlotse to Butha-Buthe will be upgraded.

Hlalele also said the ministry will not tolerate poor workmanship from the contractors.
“Sub-standard roads will not happen under our watch or else all hell will break loose,” Hlalele said.
“Such contractors will be charged with defrauding the government.”

Tokase Mphutlane

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