‘Semen Letsi project underway,’ Minister Bastienne reassures National Assembly |03 July 2019
The Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Charles Bastienne yesterday assured the National Assembly and residents of Grand Anse Mahé that the project to construct a motorable access road – Semen Letsi – is underway.
Responding to an urgent question raised by Honourable Waven William as to when the project is expected to start after the tender was awarded in April this year, Minister Bastienne remarked that the ministry has sought the help of the Seychelles Land Transport Agency (SLTA) to undertake the work after the contractor awarded the contract failed to deliver.
“SLTA will undertake some work to make the road motorable, which it was not before and following this, SLTA will complete the resurfacing work, which as of today, I think is about 70 or 75 percent. The work that is left is to complete four bridges that are necessary and to construct drainage on either side of the road,” Minister Bastienne assured.
According to Minister Bastienne, the ministry and SLTA are going beyond what the contractor was offering which did not necessarily include drainage works nor the reconstruction of a major bridge on the road. Once the road is completed, SLTA will maintain it.
The contractor who was awarded the contract has been paid R1,000,090, representing 25 percent of the total contract amount which amounts to R4.3 million in the form of an advance payment. Minister Bastienne noted that the Seychelles Agricultural Agency is doing the necessary to recover the sum awarded through the advance payments bond.
Originally, the road tendered out amounted to R6 million but SLTA’s involvement significantly reduces the costs for the ministry. The remaining works inclusive of the bridges, drainage and road surfacing will cost an additional R1.2 million while the Seychelles Agricultural Agency is bearing a fraction of the cost for surfacing the road at R145,000. SLTA will finance the rest of the surfacing works, Minister Bastienne said.
Honourable Jean-François Ferrari, the member for Mont Fleuri, proposed that contractors who fail to deliver should be sanctioned.
Minister Bastienne concluded the sitting by stating that his ministry is on track for considerable savings which will be used to implement further projects for the benefit of farmers and the general community.