Beitbridge Town Council supplied with wrong grader 



BEITBRIDGE – A $21,9 million grader that was supplied to Beitbridge Town Council last month is still lying idle at the council workshop because the supplier delivered a machine with wrong specifications.

The grader was supposed to bring an end to Beitbridge’s perennial challenge in the maintenance of its roads.

Beitbridge Mayor Munyaradzi Chitsunge confirmed the matter in an interview with Two Nations and accused ESPN Capital Equipment of supplying the local authority with an older model than the one that is on the contract.

Chitsunge however, allayed fears by residents that the grader could also not be brand new. He said that the grader was new except that instead of a 140H model they were supplied with 140G model.

 “The grader is new but we were supplied with a Caterpillar 140 G which is an older model to the 140 H on the contract. We paid part of the money for the procurement of the grader and all the documentation was done. However, delays by the Reserve Bank to release the balance saw the supplier selling the grader to another client. 

“We engaged the supplier and they agreed to replace the grader with the correct one by end of June. If there are roads which needs urgent attention we will have to identify them and hire out a grader whilst we wait for a correct supply,” 

Town Clerk Loud Ramakgapola confirmed the same. 

“I have heard those rumors that the grader may not be new. We engaged the supplier and they are prepared to come down and discuss with us anytime this week and they are also prepared to say if its not what we ordered, they take it to another client and supply us with what we ordered,” said Ramakgapola. 

Beitbridge Urban Residents Association chairperson Timothy Zendera pleaded with the local authority to be more vigilant in future and check equipment before they take delivery.

“They could have verified before taking delivery of the grader. The process of getting a replacement is obviously going to take long. This can be equated to a wedding with a wrong wife,” said Zendera.  

The grader was procured using devolution funds allocated to the local authority in 2021.

The grader was unveiled to residents and stakeholders on April 14, this year.

The council has been hiring graders and because Beitbridge is far-flung, just bringing a grader from Harare or Bulawayo in itself is expensive.

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