Namdock jumps into staff housing delay

22 September 2020 | Business

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Walvis Bay ship repair company, Namdock, says a new contractor should be appointed as soon as possible to proceed with a N$94 million housing project in which 82 of its employees are beneficiaries.

This is after the cancellation of a contract with Bay Construction earlier this year, which was supposed to have built the houses. The construction company's owner is said to have fled the country after abandoning several other housing projects.

Bay Construction, owned by South African Alvin Naidoo, was awarded both the servicing and construction contracts for the Namdock employee houses through the Omtani Trust earlier this year.



Did not honour deadline

In a statement, Namdock said it purchased 10 hectares of undeveloped land in the Tutaleni location of Walvis Bay in 2018 to create a stable future for both its employees and the community.

“In pursuing this initiative, Namdock was proud to contribute to the further growth and upgrading of this Walvis Bay suburb, through the donation of surveyed land for employee housing.”

A tender for the servicing and construction of 82 of the 214 houses was awarded to Bay Construction by Namdock's internal housing committee.

The project with Bay Construction was, however, cancelled by the trust after the contractor did not honour its obligations by the 1 July deadline.



'Shocked and disappointed'

“While we are shocked and disappointed by what has transpired, we would also like to place firmly on record that, as a caring employer, we are extremely concerned that the interests of our employees who are the beneficiaries of this housing project are still taken into account and taken care of,” said Namdock acting CEO Heritha Nankole Muyoba.

She said no money was paid by the trust to Bay Construction prior to the contract's cancellation.

“We would therefore heartily encourage the trust to act swiftly in appointing another Namibian contractor at the soonest possible opportunity.”



'We'll be watching closely'

Muyoba said the right contractor with a reliable track record and technical skills will make a success of the project, which is vitally important, given the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the local economy.

“We will be watching very closely from the sidelines, respecting the independence of the trust, but with confidence that they will ensure a positive outcome to this hitherto unfortunate situation.

“Ultimately, it is the interests of the project beneficiaries - the employees of Namdock and their families - who are our first and foremost concern,” she said.

The company operates three privately-owned floating docks, including a Panamax-sized dock in Walvis Bay.

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