CoW clarifies delay in completion of N$20 million road project

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Movement has told the City of Windhoek (CoW) management to fast-track and complete the road between the Hakahana and Havana informal settlements which is still under construction.

The road is supposed to be upgraded from gravel to tar.

Work started in June last year but came to a standstill late last year and to date is still stalled.

Earlier this month, the AR’s Khomas Regional Chairperson Sem David wrote a letter to CoW chief executive officer, Moses Matyayi and minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni, seeking answers on why the road is still incomplete and why contractors are not on site.

“We have long observed with great concern the issue of projects within our community being left incomplete, delayed, or not properly completed. We draw your attention to projects such as the road from the Havana four-way stop to Ongos Valley, the inside road from Hakahana to Havana, and the Ongos Road project, among others.

David said it is heartbreaking to see such important projects being stalled, leaving employees unpaid and returning to the streets and communities without the services they need. Therefore, AR is urging the ministry and the CoW to ensure that contractors honour their obligations and pay their subcontractors and their employees on time.

He further alluded that projects like this are often implemented during election years, only to be abandoned when the elections are over.

“We have noticed with worry that development initiatives often occur during election years, only to be postponed, delayed, or abandoned once the elections are over. Such practices demoralise and undermine trust within our communities. We demand transparency and community involvement in project planning and implementation to prevent manipulation for political gain,” he said.

David added that councillors, civil society, and general community members should be actively involved in such a process to ensure accountability and transparency. Because they believe that this will lead to the fast implementation and completion of the projects.

CoW communications officer, Lydia Amutenya said the N$20 million project was awarded to Tulipamwe Consulting Engineers Pty (Ltd) as the consulting engineers and Kunene River Construction & Electrical CC as the contractor.

Amutenya stated that the project did not stall but that the contractors have been experiencing delays. She added that the contractors have been given a deadline to complete the project by 31 May 2024.

“No, the project has not come to a standstill. However, there have been minor delays, primarily due to the relocation of illegal services within the road reserve. The City of Windhoek is fully informed of these challenges and has been actively engaged in addressing them. The project continues to progress, albeit within the constraints of working in a densely populated area,” she said.

Amutenya concluded that it is important to note that the project is part of the Tarring Programme, which was endorsed by a council resolution.

“Its overarching goal is to enhance gravel roads to bitumen standards, ultimately improving the quality of life for residents in the surrounding communities,” she said.

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