The renovated national stadium was handed over to the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng by the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Nonofo Molefhi on Thursday . Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Dikagiso Mokotedi said the project, which took seven months to complete cost P 44, 499. 264.22. The national stadium, which had 20 000 seats now boasts of 23000 seats. He said that 140 Batswana were directly employed by Murray and Robert while there were also local companies that were sub-contracted for the renovations. When receiving the national stadium Olopeng said he appreciated the efforts by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology for having seen it fit to renovate the stadium, and requested that they consider covering up the stadium because the weather in Botswana can be very harsh, which can deter supporters from coming to the stadium for sports activities.
Olopeng said his ministry is already searching around the capital city for space to build a national stadium with a larger capacity to qualify to host major international events. BNSC Chairperson Solly Reikeletseng said even though they appreciate the renovated stadium, it is now time for a bigger one in order to position Botswana well as a host nation for major events. “Many people always encourage us to host events because people love coming to Botswana and love how we host events, but the problem for some events only becomes the venue,” he said, adding that Botswana loses out on great opportunities to accelerate economic diversification. Molefhi said his ministry will continue to work tirelessly to make sure that all projects are delivered within cost, time and to the right quality having learnt their lessons from past failures. “We would continue to put in place strategies to mitigate against risks associated with project delivery and it gives me great pleasure to hand over the stadium as it marks the level of success which the interventions we have put in place as a ministry have yielded positive results,” he said.
He expressed his excitement that many Batswana will enjoy the upcoming jubilee celebrations. He urged the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture and in particular BNSC and its affiliates to ensure that the facility is taken care of so that it remains in good state for use at all times, including ensuring its cleanliness. “It is disheartening to observe that after certain events, particularly soccer, a lot of seats are always destroyed which then requires to be replaced at a cost,” he said.