WALVIS BAY – A Walvis Bay-based ship repair company has cancelled a N$94 million housing contract, which was meant to benefit 82 employees.
Namdock cancelled the housing contract with the controversial Bay Construction company whose owner is said to have allegedly skipped the country earlier this year after abandoning several other housing projects.
Bay Construction, owned by the South African Alvin Naidoo, was awarded both the servicing and construction of the 82 houses for Namdock employees through the Omtani Trust earlier this year.
However, Naidoo allegedly failed to honour the contract. Naidoo was previously the group director for 7 Sirs construction company and was criticised by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba for the controversial one-door houses through the mass housing programme at Walvis Bay.
Chairperson of the Omtani Trust Josef Garoeb yesterday confirmed to New Era that they had to cancel the contract after the construction company failed to service the land behind Tutaleni within the deadline.
“The servicing of the land was worth N$29 million while the construction of the houses was a N$65 million contract. However, we cancelled the contract on 1 September as Naidoo failed to honour his end of the contract,” Garoeb said.
He added Naidoo, who is currently in South Africa, was formally informed about the cancellation. “The deadline for the servicing of the land was end of July while the houses were expected to be completed by December this year. We luckily did not pay over any money to his company,” Garoeb further explained. However, Naidoo allegedly left Namibia without starting the project as he reportedly could not secure funding for the project. He added the contract will now be awarded to the company that came second during the tendering process.
Henties Bay project
Apart from the Namdock project, Naidoo allegedly also abandoned the Henties Bay low-cost housing project without paying the sub-contractors after being awarded the contract by the local authority. According to insiders, the project was a public-private partnership and no tender had been advertised for it. The municipality made land available and Bay Construction was responsible for constructing low-cost houses as per the agreement. Despite being awarded the contract in June 2019, only five houses have been completed by July this year. Henties Bay mayor Herman Honeb upon enquiry earlier confirmed the project has come to a standstill and that council has received several complaints from contractors. “We are currently seeking a legal opinion with regards to the issue hence cannot really say much on it,” Honeb said. When contacted by New Era Naidoo denied skipping the country without honouring his contractual obligation with Namdock, he also denied that he skipped the country while owing banking institutions and contractors millions of dollars. “There is absolutely no truth in that but I don’t want to get into a debate, so let us leave it like that. I am not sure of the source of your information. It is obviously void of the facts, timelines and conditions. Maybe you should explore how many Namdock staff obtained final bonds,” Naidoo said. He, however, refused to comment on the Henties Bay low-cost housing project.