P23bn For Masisi’s DM Projects


  • Govt to seek extra P10bn to beef P13bn initially set aside and to meet changes in project scope
  • Experts worried about lack of experience handling such king’s ransom amounts of money




The government’s new Development Management (DM) model for 143 major projects is projected to cost over P23 billion, exceeding the initial allocation of P13 billion.


According to technocrats on the DM Committee, changes in project scope and outdated plans necessitated additional funding, prompting the government to seek an extra P10 billion from external sources.


The DM Committee is headed by the Vice President Slumber Tsogwane as Chairman and the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Eric Molale as Vice Chairman.


The finance and economic development; land management, water and sanitation; local government and rural development; and the environment, wildlife and tourism ministries sit on the DM Committee to oversee projects.


Eight-works package

Meanwhile, in the first rollout of the DM model, Zutari Botswana Pty (Ltd) has been awarded an eight-works package.


It includes constructing a state-of-the-art primary school in Goodhope, construction and upgrading of a Level 2 clinic with a maternity ward in Mabule, construction and upgrading of a Level 2 clinic with a maternity ward in Mogojogojo, refreshment of an artificial insemination centre in Goodhope and construction of the 27km Gabane-Mmankgodi Road.


DM awards covering construction of schools, hospitals and road like the Nata-Pandamantenga (64km), Nata-Gweta (100km), and Maun-Sehithwa-Mohembo (149km) are expected before the current financial year’s end.


Under the DM model, (a) development manager handles engineering, procurement, construction, and management services for projects from inception to completion.


In April 2023, the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale, told Parliament that the idea of adopting the DM model was informed by the fact that Botswana has continued to experience projects implementation challenges that lead to loss of public funds, slowed economic growth and corruption despite good policies and measures being in place.


Risky approach


Meanwhile, industry experts have expressed scepticism about the DM model’s implementation, citing risks associated with a government lacking experience in handling such a substantial budget.


Said one: “This is the first time that the government will do any project under the DM model. Our economy has never dealt with a budget as big as this. Our government should have started with a budget project model rather than leaving everything to the DMs.


“It is a very risky approach for a government with no experience. Most of these DMs are foreign companies and we are entrusting them with these huge funds. What if something goes wrong? Our entire economy could collapse.”