WINDHOEK – Africa Civil Engineering, the main contractor in the construction of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ (MFMR) regional office in Rundu, said the N$16 million project can be completed within six or seven months once all necessary arrangements are in place. The project, which will be known as the MFMR Kavango East Regional Office, initially commenced in November 2012 under a different contractor but came to an abrupt halt when government suspended most capital projects last year in a bid to accelerate fiscal consolidation. However, Africa Civil Engineering now says funds are available from government to commence with the project but noted that a few technical issues still need to be ironed out.
“We have demonstrated our capacity and capability to the ministry to conclude this project. Once everything and all agreements are in place, we will probably finish this project within six to seven months,” Petrus Kapula of Africa Civil Engineering told New Era yesterday. Kapula confirmed that construction was halted due to lack of funds from government but noted that it has since been confirmed that money is now available to continue construction on the project. He added that previous delays in the project were as a result of issues carried over from the previous contractor, Executive City Construction cc, which had commenced with construction in November 2012. These issues he said, need to be agreed on before work commence.
According to the spokesperson of the MFMR, De Wet Siluka, the current phase for the completion of outstanding works on the Kavango East regional office commenced on 05 August 2015 after the previous contract was terminated by the initial contractor for failing to carryout and complete the works as per the original scope. Siluka noted that the Ministry of Works and Transport handed over the site to Africa Civil Engineering cc, together with the user, the MFMR on 07 August 2015.
“The current phase was expected to have been completed on 07 February 2017 as per the signed contract. The project was not completed then due to various reasons which the Principal Agent / Architect on the project is better placed to articulate,” said Siluka.
The new regional office will have an office building, ablution block, workshop building, wash bay and nets drying building, fish feed store, boat and trailer store, garages and generator room and a guard house. The new premise is also to offer installations for specialist services and equipment (electrical and mechanical) and associated ancillary site works.
Upon completion, the office will serve as the technical and administrative centre to promote aquaculture and enhance compliance to inland fisheries legislation.
“The contractor, Africa Civil Engineering cc has so far been paid N$ 5 783 872.81 including Value Added Tax (VAT) for works done up to 07 July 2017. “Please note that the gross amount valued to date (as at 07 July 2017) is N$ 6 426 525.35 including VAT. The difference of N$ 642 652.53 is withheld in retention and will be paid out to the contractor once practical completion is attained,” Siluka clarified.