Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
LUPANE State University (LSU) has missed its relocation deadline after the contractor failed to meet the targeted time to complete construction work owing to delays by treasury in releasing funds for the project.
In November last year, the university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kuipa said the institution would relocate to Lupane at the beginning of this month.
Yesterday, the university’s director of marketing and public relations Zwelithini Dlamini said the relocation process was delayed by contractors who at one time abandoned work due to non-payment.
He said delays in releasing funds by the government contributed to their relocation target being missed.
Dlamini said the government only availed funds in August last year but the money only reached the institution after the contractor had already pulled out of the construction site.
“Due to non-payment of monies the contractor moved equipment from the site. But upon the release of funds they returned to the site. Their remobilisation of machinery and personnel also took time,” said Dlamini.
He said the situation was worsened by the temporary stoppage of work during last December’s holidays.
“There was some equipment that needed to be ordered from suppliers which couldn’t be delivered because of the closure. Some of the material is yet to be delivered,” he said.
Dlamini said construction was on course and once complete, the university would relocate.
“Hopefully by the end of month we will be in a position to relocate. We’re waiting for an update from the contractor who is finalising works on site,” said Dlamini.
The university’s relocation to Lupane campus has been on the cards for several years.
Due to financial challenges, the government has been struggling to release funds on time for the construction process.
In December, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo said it was the government’s wish to see LSU moving to its Lupane site this year.
He said only non-teaching staff could remain in Bulawayo doing paperwork for the institution.