Swakop demolishes 90 mass houses due to poor workmanship

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Eveline de Klerk

Swakopmund-About 90 houses built in Swakopmund under the mass housing programme are currently being demolished at the town due to poor workmanship.
The houses are situated close to the dumping site on the northeastern side of coastal town.

When New Era visited the area this week workers were already demolishing some of the houses. The said houses are part of 400 low-cost units constructed by Delta Group Holdings, who were awarded a N$91 million contract under the mass housing programme.

Industry sources on Friday told New Era the houses were poorly constructed and deemed a health and safety risk for those who would have been allocated
the houses through the National Housing Enterprise (NHE).

“The construction company did not make use of the materials, as agreed, when they signed the contracts. And several inspectors who visited the houses said that they must be demolished, as they do not meet the local authority building requirements at all,” the source said.

Contacted for comment the public relations officer of the Swakopmund Municipality, Alie Gebhardt, told New Era the houses are the responsibility of the NHE. She said the poor quality of the houses was detected after a building plan was submitted to the municipality, whose building inspector soon detected that the houses are below standard.

“We informed the NHE to deal with the situation,” she said on Friday.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa on Sunday said that fewer than 100 houses built by Delta will be demolished. She said surveyors were sent to inspect the houses and they found that the houses were clearly not suitable and were in fact a health and safety hazard.

Subsequently an agreement was reached between the Ministry of Works and the Delta Group to demolish the houses. Delta also agreed to construct 133 better quality houses at the company’s expense to compensate for the demolished houses, the minister confirmed yesterday.

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