Govt contracts another funder for AUSC works

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation has engaged a new financier for the construction of the Lepereng Stadium and Roma residential units meant for the upcoming African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games.

This after the government terminated its contract with the initial financier- Property2000 (PTY) LTD- who allegedly failed to provide funds for the construction works.

The facilities that include a 20 000-seater football stadium and a 3000-capacity multipurpose indoor arena at Lepereng are required for the AUSC games penned in for this December.

Also, part of the works is a 3000-unit games village at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), a 4000-seater football and athletics stadium, NUL Recreational Centre and tennis courts. The whole project will cost M2.4 billion.

The three developers; NEPCO II, Design Edge and MFT were forced to halt construction works soon after completing earth work at Lepereng and NUL as Property2000 allegedly failed to pay them. This forced the government to look for an alternative financier.

The Sports ministry’s information officer Maqalika Matsepe told the Lesotho Times this week that the Minister Mahali Phamotse would meet the new financiers today to conclude the deal and the construction is expected to be in full action by next week.

According to Matsepe, Property2000’s contract was revoked after the government learnt that the company was trying to secure a loan to fund the project when instead it had said it had the money.

“Property2000 was supposed to give the developers money to do the job but we discovered that they also did not have the money and were still looking for loans, so their contract was revoked,” Matsepe said.

“This was done immediately after the earth works were completed at both sites and the construction stopped.

“…The minister will meet with the funders on Thursday (today) and probably the construction will be back in full swing.”

Matsepe also allayed fears that the games may be affected by the delay.

“The games will be hosted whether the construction is completed or not. We have alternatives because a pitch and an athletics track can be constructed within three months. We can even erect less stands just for the games and the construction resumes after wards in time for the 2022 Africa Youth Champions.

“Also, in Roma we need a 3000-unit residential space, so we can build 1200 for now and renovate the already existing 1800 units at NUL so that the rest can be completed later.

“The indoor facilities are simpler because we would just erect steel structures that cover existing facilities and host the games.”

He also said their building permit was secured late although they have now been given a green light to proceed with construction works.

“The application was delayed but since we were in a hurry, we continued without it. However, we have submitted all the requirements and now await the Land Administration Authority’s (LAA) confirmation that the lease has been granted,” Matsepe said.

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