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MCC needs M500m for development projects

Aug. 29, 2019 3 min read

MASERU - Maseru City Council (MCC) is pushing an ambitious development plan in the next five years that could cost the government of Lesotho well over half-a-billion Maloti.

The plan that falls under the larger development setup of the Maseru Urban Development Plan includes among others, projects such as the upgrading of the Mpilo road sub-ways, the establishment and setup of the Maseru City Metro Police and legal units as well as a solid waste management project.

“There is a more comprehensive project implementation programme, but some of the projects are still at an incubation stage, so I will not talk about them,” said the MCC Public Relations Manager, ’Makatleho Mosala.

Mrs Mosala said at the moment there were many activities planned for the re-facing of Maseru but the main project proposals, which would cost over M100million would be submitted to the central government for funding in the next financial year.

“It has to be understood that these big projects of national magnitude are being implemented by the MCC on behalf of the government of Lesotho and thus we cannot go on our own to say we can raise funding or do otherwise as the Council without the government,” she said.

According to Mrs Mosala more studies are being done on the larger plan to change the face of Maseru city, which could include even the restructuring of the construction around the city and re-planning of some of the developments.

“Look, as an example, our city is very dark at night and that is mainly because our electrification system for street lights is very old. We are also talking about water pipes and other old infrastructure that need to be replaced,” she said.

On other projects that will be implemented soon, she said one of the biggest headaches was that of clearing the streets of Maseru, especially around the bus stop area, where it looks like everybody has taken the law unto their hands.

Having made allocations for street vendors in the area, the old Maseru bus stop and other new taxi pick-up areas have been fully invaded by vendors with pavements and parking areas totally crowded with everyone claiming they are rightfully operating in the area.

This also poses a challenge to shop-owners and other operators in the area to do business properly, the Council has conceded.

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The Council is also partnering with other players to ensure that taxis operate properly and use only designated places for pick-ups and drop-offs for passengers instead of using each and every street corner for their operations. The partnering units will include taxi owners and street vendors’ association themselves, the police as well as other government departments.

The same multi-stakeholders effort will also look into the maintenance of cleanliness around the Maseru city, especially the bus stop area.

The government of Lesotho is embarking on a development project that will see many of the feeder and exits roads into Maseru city being upgraded. These include the southern districts exit which will see the upgrading and extension of the Maseru by-pass via the Thetsane industrial and Maseru and Pioneer Malls which will be expanded to double lanes for ease of traffic.

The Mpilo sub-way will be another major phase-lift as the main Maseru traffic circle can no longer handle heavy traffic flows, especially during morning and evening peak hours.

The Mpilo road upgrading and sub-way construction tender has already been issued and attracted a lot of tensions between the Council and the Central government, with the ministry in charge – (the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs) – even suspending the tender board that was charged with the responsibility to assess the issuance.

Speaking then to the media, Local Government Minister, Mr Litšoane Litšoane accused the MCC Mayor and Councillors of over stepping their mandate and being involved in acts that were tantamount to corruption. But the Councillors contended that the attack was mainly aimed at depriving it of its rightful mandate to award the Mpilo tender.

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