The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, James Sankwasa, has warned against fly-by-night contractors imploring the Roads Authority (RA) for tenders, but yet not having adequate technical capacity and financial means to complete projects.
Sankwasa said credible contractors have the means to complete road projects within the stipulated time frame.
Sankwasa also advised against merely awarding tenders to contractors who submit cheaper tender bids but who do not have the necessary means and capacity.
He furthermore sternly warned that those who submit sub-standard work will be recalled to redo the work at their own cost.
“We demand high-quality work and we will not accept sub-standard work. If the road works are not up to standard, we will demand that they be redone at no cost to the government; for too long government has been taken for a ride,” he warned.
Sankwasa made the remarks at the long-awaited commissioning of the 7.8km road from Epako to Omuvelo-wakashamane on Wednesday.
The completion of the road was delayed due to non-performance. The the initial contractor, a joint venture between Namibia Investment Contract, Dolly Investment and Tix Investment, failed to complete the work within the specified time.
The joint venture was awarded the contract in 2013 – however, one year later, the project was miles away from the completion date. The joint venture got the tender for about N$34 million, however, in 2014 the contract was cancelled and awarded to China Longjian for N$41 million.
The increased cost resulted from the ever increasing market prices and the volatility of the business world.
Sankwasa further challenged able Namibian contractors and SMEs with the technical capacity to approach the SME Bank and Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) for support in order for the country to have construction companies that can equally compete in international markets.
Sankwasa said the construction of the Epako-Omuvelo-wakashamane road is a further testimony of the ministry’s commitment to extend road networks from urban to rural areas where SMEs are predominantly found.
Previously the surrounding community travelled on sandy informal tracks.
Provision of water drainages structures were also included in the construction to allow easy flow of water during the rainy season.