WINDHOEK – The City of Windhoek yesterday, rubbished claims that its inability to fix its potholed road surface is due to budgetary constraints and fingered the implementation of the new Procurement Act as the cause of the delay.
Ordinarily, the City of Windhoek would have embarked on the repair of the roads by the end of the rainy season, around March – April. This year however, work on the road surface embarked somewhat later due to an unintended delay in the procurement process and thus could not appoint the Unit Rate Contractors.
Also, materials, such as prefix which is said to be durable were not readily available, revealed the City’s External Communications Officer, Lydia Amutenya.
“The tendered rate to repair a pothole is N$294.63. To repair an estimated 3000 potholes, will cost the City around N$883, 890. The budget for surface repairs for the 2017/18 financial year is
N$26,350,000 of which
N$11, 152, 470 was used. Thus, no shortage of funds exist to repair potholes,” she said.
According to Amutenya, it is the aforementioned delay, which caused the City’s roads and storm water maintenance teams to fall behind in pothole repairs, as only two teams were used to repair potholes for both the Southern and Northern suburbs.
She further revealed that potholes were temporarily repaired with soilcrete – which is a combination of cement and other natural material – when prefix is not available.
“The potholes repaired in the past one and a half months were 942 in the Southern suburbs, with an average of 23 potholes repaired per day and 753 potholes in the Northern suburbs, with an average of 21.5 potholes repaired per day,” Amutenya revealed.
In an apparent attempt to rectify the matter, the City carried out an investigation from the 8th to the 10 of this month to determine the number of potholes on the roads, and established that there are approximately 2823 potholes in the northern suburbs of Windhoek. “The unit rate contractors that expired during October 2017 were reinstated as an emergency measure on the June 11, 2017. The contractors are; Otjomuise Construction, which is responsible for the southern part and Indigenous Construction for the northern part,” she said, adding this will enable the city’s roads and storm water maintenance to add four teams for pothole repairs in the northern suburbs.
“If an average of 20 potholes can be repaired per day, per team, 100 potholes can be repaired per week per team. With 5 teams repairing potholes, all potholes can be repaired in 6 weeks, thus we expect all potholes to be fixed by end of July 2018,” Amutenya maintained.