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Grootfontein dragged to court
Grootfontein dragged to court

Road tender lands Grootfontein municipality in court

Jemima Beukes
The cash-strapped Grootfontein municipality is being dragged to court by a construction company.

Otjomuise Construction wants the High Court to grant a summary judgment against the local authority for allegedly failing to settle invoices worth N$1.5 million for work done between November 2021 and March 2022.

According to court documents, the municipality contracted the construction company for sealing and maintenance work on selected roads, and work was due to be completed in June.

An insider alleged that the municipality has been hit by cashflow problems and could not honour several of its financial obligations of late.

In court papers, Otjomuise Construction claimed that it submitted a claim for work done in February - for an amount of N$878 940 - and even after the due date lapsed, the Grootfontein municipality refused to pay.

This despite agreements set out in a contract that the contractor would be paid monthly after the work it has done was measured and certified accordingly.

Pay up

In March, the company sent another claim for an amount of N$647 095 to the municipality, which it again refused to pay.

Otjomuise Construction has now asked the High Court to order the local authority to pay it these outstanding invoices at a Standard Bank prime overdraft rate calculated from 18 March for the first invoice and from 8 April for the second.

The municipality has filed a notice to oppose the application through lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni.

During a case planning conference this week, High Court judge Shafimana Ueitele postponed the matter to 27 September to allow both parties time to file their joint case plan.

Otjomuise Construction is represented by Uanivi & Gaes Incorporated.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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