RUNDU - The long-awaited rehabilitation of Sam Nujoma Drive in Rundu, which hit a snag over operational issues, will soon recommence according to the Road Fund Administration (RFA).
The site handover of this project was done on March 25 with the original completion date set for July 25, but to date little has happened on the project with many citing delayed payments.
However, the RFA said payment issues were not the cause of the delay.
“Payments have been made on time to alleviate the impact on the contractor’s cashflow and parties have been urged to avoid unnecessary bottlenecks within the payment claim procedure,” said the RFA CEO, Ali Ipinge.
“Since the commencement of the project a few challenges such as site conditions, correction of design levels, and sourcing of material from the traditional authority were experienced. The project activities slowed down between July and August 2019,” he added.
According to Ipinge, as a result of the initial challenges, the project cost had to increase through variation orders issued to the town council on May 31 for approval. The consultations regarding the variation orders between the consultant and the council took time, resulting in the suspension of the works from September 1- 19.
Ipinge further told New Era that on September 18 the variation orders were approved and subsequently the contractor was instructed to continue with the rehabilitation works.
He said specific intervention by the RFA, as part of its oversight role, included the proposed availability of a strong resource to administer and manage the project from June 2019 onwards, with particular emphasis on strengthening project communication and optimising relationships between Rundu Town Council, the consultant, contractor and the RFA.
As a financier of road maintenance, the RFA allocates funding to approved authorities like the Rundu Town Council to defray the cost of road maintenance in the local authority.
The council is responsible for the management of its road network including maintenance and construction.
The project is supervised by a consultant appointed by the RFA as part of the technical assistance programme rendered to local authorities and regional councils.
RFA is funding the project at a cost of N$3.4 million but the cost is said to have increased. The part of the road to be worked on runs from Sauyemwa service station to the B10 Nkurenkuru turn-off and was supposed to be closed for five months but it now seems it will require extra months.