Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund-Two Namibian-registered companies contracted to demolish and re-build 133 houses at Swakopmund after the houses that were initially constructed by a South African company were declared sub-standard, have yet to be paid. Although Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaaningwa has said a dispute between the contractors was to blame for the delayed payment that saw construction grind to a halt after the contractors demolished the houses and started constructing new foundations, New Era has it on authority that there is no dispute between the two local contractors and that the project stalled because of the ministry’s failure to pay for the work done. The houses in question are situated close on the northeastern side of coastal town. Shaaningwa claims Delta Group Holdings, the main contractor under contractual agreement to rebuild the 90 houses, is allegedly embroiled in a bitter dispute with a sub-contractor contracted to construct the houses. “We are currently busy looking into the issues of contention, so that the houses can be rebuilt. However, all that I can say at this stage is that we are dealing with the matter, as the houses are constructed under the mass housing programme and it is our responsibility [to ensure] that they should be rebuilt. We are positive that the process will start in due course,” she noted. Delta Group Holdings was initially awarded a N$90 million tender to build 400 houses at Swakopmund. However, the number was later reduced to 100. Shockingly, 90 of these were demolished on the recommendation of engineers and building instructors after they were deemed a safety risk. Shaningwa said earlier this year that surveyors sent to inspect the houses found them clearly unsuitable and that the houses were a health and safety hazard. It was then agreed that Delta Group Holdings would rebuild the houses at own cost. They also agreed to construct an additional 33 houses. Several efforts yesterday to obtain comment from Delta Group Holdings were in vain, as the number of their contact person went to voicemail. About $30 million of the initial contract amount still left over, was expected to go towards the construction of the 133 houses. Sources yesterday said the construction company did not make use of the materials, as agreed, when they signed the contracts. Several inspectors who visited the houses said that they had to be demolished, as they did not meet the local authority building standards at all, the source said. So far, the principal agent and a local company – both sub-contracted by a South African company in the mass housing project – have submitted three payment claims for demolishing and reconstructing the houses, but say they have not yet been paid yet, despite submitting invoices for the work done.
New Era Reporter
2017-09-15 11:31:46 1 years ago