THE cost of construction of the new National Museum which was supposed to be completed in 2017, has doubled, putting more pressure on government finances.
July 21, 2021
2 min read
Construction cost of National Museum doubles
The new National Museum
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Initially, the cost of the project, which began in 2015 was estimated at M111 million, but due to delays, the building is currently only 85 percent complete.
At the moment, the cost of the construction is worth M170 million and is expected to continue increasing up to M240 million, the Minister of Development Planning, Selibe Mochoboroane revealed on Wednesday during his tour of the site.
He said the building has taken much longer than expected, an undertaking which has already cost the government a lot of money.
“This building has taken a long time to be completed and therefore costly. Honestly, we have to refrain from this kind of conduct as government because it comes with more spending,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
The project is actually expected to be finalised in October with a few other logistics to be completed within a period of a year.
That means the building can only be utilised after a year from now.
The museum will among others house cultural infrastructure such as art galleries, cultural centres, theatre and film studios, craft centres as well as amphitheaters.
Upon completion, the facility is further expected to have a display area, auditorium, office storage facilities, boardrooms, photographic library and the laboratory conservation among other facilities.
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Operations at the national museum and art gallery will also include collection of all natural and manmade objects that reflect both the natural and cultural bearing of Basotho, as well as document all specimens and objects collected.
According to the site manager Tlotliso Lephoto from Sigma Construction, notwithstanding the fact that the construction is nearing its completion, the project has faced numerous challenges of cash flow delaying payments, all of which affected progress.
“There were also challenges of design here and there as well as the issue of subcontractors changing prices along the way. But I think the building will be completed before end of this year,” he said.
Mr Mochoboroane will continue visiting other government projects to monitor progress.