As a programmer, I am no stranger to projects that have ended up being late and/or over budget. Every programmer can tell you the horror stories. But being R3 billion over budget even blows me away.

I am talking about the new Bus Rapid Transit system that Cape Town is building to help ease traffic congestion, and provide some infrastructure for the Soccer World Cup next year.

The original plan was to have four phases, to be completed by 2020, and costing about R10 billion in total. Phase one, which is due to be completed by mid next year, was forecast to cost R1.4 billion.

Construction has been going on for a while now, severely affecting my route home from work every day, and causing taxi drivers to protest about the extra competition.

Well, recently it turned out that someone had miscalculated the budget, and a scaled down version of phase one would cost R2.35 billion. That is almost double the money for a much smaller project than originally intended. I then heard today that the budget had grown to R4.2 billion!

How on earth does a project like this end up costing 3 times as much as the original estimate resulting in being R3 billion over budget?

And if you want to know how much the extra cost is going to cost an average Capetonian? There are according to Wikipedia, about 3.5 million people living in Cape Town, which means that the extra budget amounts to R850 per PERSON in Cape Town. I think that puts it a little bit more into perspective….

You can read more at News24.