Inadequate capital delays completion of National Museum

Inadequate capital delays completion of National Museum
Inadequate capital delays completion of National Museum

Africa-PressLesotho. The Construction of the Lesotho National Museum and Art Gallery which commenced in 2015 was estimated to be completed in December 2017, however, constructors

claim that low cash flow is one big factor that hinders its completion. Sigma Construction Site Agent Tlotliso Liphoto said 85% of the work has been completed

while the remaining 15% is awaiting specialist sub-contractors who will come from outside the country. He indicated that it was quite challenging to complete the project considering the challenges that they came across,

specifically when it comes to cash flow. “I will say cash flow because it has always been the challenge from the beginning of the project as there were

delayed payments which did not only affect us as contractors but our consultants as well,” he said. Liphoto continued to say that one other factor that delayed the completion of the project

was changes in the designs that were made and the outbreak of COVID-19. He noted that the expectation is that the museum will be completed before the end of this year.

Ministry of Public Works Principal Quantity Surveyor Moshoeshoe Phalatsi said the lay back was also resultant to the site changes, which also delayed the commencement

of the construction. He said they also had to demolish an old building that was located at the construction site. The Minister of Development Planning Hon.

Selibe Mochoboroane, who initiated a tour around government projects on Wednesday, to evaluate and gather updates on their progress, said this is the second time that his ministry undertakes follow-ups

on the progress of the country’s big projects. He further said the National Museum is part of those projects and insisted that the project has taken longer

than the anticipated time. He indicated that they learned from the previous big projects that the setback of this nature fetches deeper in the government’s

pockets. “The actual construction expenses were estimated to cost around M111 million when the construction started but now we are above M170 million,” he said.

He indicated that it is also assumed that the overall expenditure for the construction to be completed will be about M240 million. He said they need to

work very hard as the government to avoid projects that go beyond the stipulated time because they have a negative impact on the budget. Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Cultural Heritage Officer Leqaphela

Liphoto explained that thus far, Lesotho does not have a National Museum though there are other small museums such as Morija Museum and Royal Archives and

Museum, which has been collecting the historical and natural artefacts of Lesotho. Liphoto added that the government decided to have this big museum where Basotho’s artistry and culture can be kept in one place for the next

generation’s referral and for tourism purposes. He further said over the past four years, the ministry has been meeting with Basotho to collect the historical and natural artefacts that will be displayed in the museum once it is complete.


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