Massive capital projects delayed

05 June 2020 | Infrastructure

“We will evaluate and assess all options and may give an extension of time to complete the projects.” - Hileni Fillemon, corporate communication manager: RA

Phillepus Uusiku

The arrival of Covid-19 has had far-reaching consequences on Namibia, with major road-building projects delayed in the Windhoek area.

There are three ongoing projects in the Windhoek area, namely the upgrading of the dual carriageway on the Windhoek-Okahandja road and the upgrading to a dual carriageway of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road, which has two phases, says Hileni Fillemon, the corporate communication manager at the Road Authority (RA) Namibia.

The lockdown has impacted the initial set completion dates of these projects. However, the RA will look at the terms of the contracts as provision is made to cover emergencies and these types of risks. “We will evaluate and assess all options and may give an extension of time to complete the projects,” Fillemon said.

She added that the contractors are back on site after the implementation of stage two of the state of emergency. The progress on these projects will however be slower as the contractors has to work with fewer staff per shift on site to comply with the set social distancing and hygiene protocols where necessary.

Contractors

Fillemon pointed out that the contactors facilitating the construction of the Windhoek – Hosea Kutako International Airport road are China railway seventh group & Onamagongwa trading enterprises joint venture and Avic-International project engineering Co.

The Windhoek-Okahandja road is being constructed by CMC and Otesa joint venture. A total of 763 Namibians are employed on these projects.

The RA is currently processing outstanding payments through the ministry of finance as they are responsible for paying the contractors only. Therefore, information on whether the employees have been paid over the past months should be obtained from the respective contractors, Fillemon said.

Going forward

RA is currently busy developing a strategy on how they will mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their projects should they face a similar situation in the future, she said.

The RA has implemented the necessary measures at all its offices to comply with the set hygiene guidelines as per the government directives. The measures were also implemented at ongoing projects and the company will continue with construction works, she added.

With regard to planned projects for the rest of the year, the RA will commence with the procurement process to appoint contractors depending on the availability of funds, she said.