The Probase Group of Companies based in Malaysia has been awarded a $100 million tender for the first phase of tarring a 200km road in the kingdom of eSwatini, a senior official in Mbabane disclosed on Wednesday.This has been made possible through a bill that was passed by Parliament two weeks ago and eventually assented to by the king.
It confirmed the proposal that was made in 2014, only to be implemented in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
The other three stages of the project are yet to be tendered for, according to the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Lindiwe Dlamini speaking in Mbababe on Wednesday.
Initially, the company had quoted the job at $416 667 per kilometre in 2014, but due to delays in endorsing the project, a fresh quotation of $500 000 per kilometre was issued by the Malaysian firm.
“The delay has been caused by the fact that the ministry had to take the proposal to Parliament as a bill and allow all the processes to be followed to the very end,” said an official from the ministry.
The minister said the construction industry entailed possibilities such as escalating of prices.
She promised that the next open-tender process for the three remaining phases would allow locally-based companies such as Inyatsi Construction Group, which had recently partnered with a South African polymer technology company known as SA Polyroads.
In total, government will part with $1 billion for all four phases.
The other phases involve a 415km road, a 485km stretch and another stretching 500km.
The work spans until 2022.