Through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), he said the government was embarking on fast-tracking backlog eradication projects such as construction of classrooms, teachers quarters, customary courts, upgrading of health facilities and rural electrification. The implementation of the ESP, he said, would create jobs, “especially in the construction sector and rural areas.” In the same vein, Mr Matambo said “youth owned construction companies and individual youths with vocational skills would be given priority in the implementation of ESP through the Youth Empowerment Reservation Programme.” Currently, he said the programme reserved 15 per cent of minor maintenance budget of government facilities for youth companies and youth with vocational skills in construction.
The maintenance of road networks in the country, the minister said, was another potential area for employment creation. With better project designs and proper packaging of contracts, he said contractors would be encouraged to use more labour in the execution of road maintenance programmes. “A study commissioned in the 2013/14 financial year to look at the condition of our road networks as well as investment needs analysis revealed that about 90 per cent of our roads are in good condition, while 10 per cent require urgent maintenance,” said Mr Matambo. He added that it was against this background that road maintenance had been given priority to eradicate existing backlogs. Some major maintenance works, he said, were ongoing in the Sefophe/Martin’s Drift road, Tsau/Nokaneng, Maun/Tatoteng and Ghanzi/Tsootsha road. He also added that the Notwane and Kazungula bridges were being constructed, whilst the Platjan and Mohembo bridges were at the tendering stage.
Furthermore, Mr Matambo said civil works contracts for two output and performance-based road contract packages covering 335 kilometres in the southern region were signed in February 2014, and that the rehabilitation works were underway.
“The implementation of these construction activities relating to road infrastructure will boost domestic economic growth, and also create employment opportunities,” he said