OH, suffer the taxpayers, who are footing the bill to upgrade the road between Koster and Lichtenburg in North West and the many delays resulting from squabbles for tenders to fix it.
Four years and close to R200-million later, the upgrade will not be completed in August as promised. The deadline for the completion has been moved once again, this time to early next year.
Three contractors and a settlement later, the North West department of public works, roads and transport seems to have found another contractor to continue the spending spree.
Who benefits from these blunders, squabbles, delays and court cases? It is not the taxpayers nor road users. They are instead getting the short end of the stick while the government makes one costly mistake after another.
In February this year the North West government awarded Tau Pele Construction a R72.5-million contract to complete the upgrade.
This came after the department paid Down Touch Investment R27-million in an out-ofcourt settlement. Down Touch took over the project after shoddy work by Kaulani Civils, who had been awarded a R208-million contract to rehabilitate the road.
It makes you wonder what the actual cost of the upgrade is. Clearly, taxpayers are paying for more than just the upgrade of the road; they are paying to the upgrade the lives of individuals as well.