Unrest at Mass Housing site

A large group of construction workers gathered at a building site in Swakopmund last week where they threatened to burn down houses because they had not been paid their wages.

30 November 2016 | Labour

Some Mass Housing houses built by the Delta Group in Swakopmund were nearly destroyed by a group of about 50 of the company''s employees last week after they had not received their wages.

The workers gathered at the construction site on Wednesday for the first time, where they threatened to burn down the houses if their outstanding wages were not paid by 17:00. Police managed to calm the angry workers, who left the site with the promise of returning again on Friday to collect their wages.

Although the company again failed to pay the outstanding wages on Friday, its managing director, Koos Gouws, left two of the company''s vehicles at the Mondesa police station as surety that the wages would be paid.

“We have advertised both vehicles and we have found a number of interested buyers. As soon as we receive a payment we will follow the necessary steps to ensure our workers are paid,” said Gouws.

According to Gouws the company, which was awarded a tender to build 400 low-cost houses under the Mass Housing programme, ran into cash-flow problems after the government failed to pay them for the work.

The Ministry of Rural and Urban Development called an urgent meeting on Friday to discuss outstanding payments due to the company. Gouws said yesterday that they had not received any feedback from the ministry and that they were looking at alternative options to raise money.

Although selling the vehicles will enable the company to pay the outstanding wages, Gouws said it would not be enough to cover all its outstanding debt.

“The amount we need to pay workers and subcontractors is about N$200 000, but we also owe other people and suppliers money. How do you decide who should be paid first?” said Gouws.

A spokesperson for the workers, Gerson Kandjeje, said they had already approached the police, the Erongo regional council and the ministry for assistance.

“No one could help us and we did not have any other choice but to come here with threats. We are tired of waiting, we are hungry and we have no money to care for our families. What must we do,” he said.

On Friday, the workers agreed to leave the construction site and to wait until the vehicles are sold so that they could get their pay. A group of workers however went to the Mondesa police station where they made further demands for their money to be paid.

The ministry''s permanent secretary, Nghidinua Daniel, was not available for comment this week and all calls were referred to Don Kondunda in the ministry''s department of mass housing. There was no answer at Kondunda''s office on Monday morning, but a message was left with his secretary on Monday afternoon.

JESSICA BOTES

Similar News

 

Managers unsettle factory workers

3 days ago - 20 January 2017 | Labour

Workers from Embwinda Fishing, formerly known as Cadilu Fishing, handed over a petition to their management voicing their grievances against two of the company's employees....

Oosekuriti otadhi mono iihuna

1 month - 12 December 2016 | Labour

Ehangano ekeeli lyomaliko lyaNamibia otashi vulika li falwe kompangu mbala sho okambaapila kondjambi yomuniilonga ka ulike kutya ehangano ndyoka natango otali futu aaniilonga ondjambi yopetameko...

10% pay hike for construction

1 month - 09 December 2016 | Labour

The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) and the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) announced that there will be a 10% wage increment for the...

New minimum wage for guards

1 month - 05 December 2016 | Labour

A national festive-season strike by security guards was averted at the eleventh hour last week when unions and security companies reached a minimum wage agreement...

Wage talks on hold at TransNamib

1 month - 01 December 2016 | Labour

Namibia Transport and Allied Workers'' Union (Natau) general secretary John Kwedhi told Namibian Sun that he was pleased that the TransNamib management and workers amicably...

Outstanding N$20 million halts work

2 months ago - 14 November 2016 | Labour

Construction on the first phase of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road was suspended on Friday due to non-payment of N$20 million. The...

DTA forging ahead with national strike action

2 months ago - 10 November 2016 | Labour

DTA secretary-general Manuel Ngaringombe says the party is busy dealing with the issue of the striking fishermen and said that the national strike of unemployed...

Security guards' jobs at stake

2 months ago - 08 November 2016 | Labour

The threat of a December security guard strike will be a gut punch not only to security service customers, but also to security guards and...

Security guards threaten Christmas strike

2 months ago - 04 November 2016 | Labour

Security guards yesterday threatened to spoil the Christmas holidays of wealthy security company customers by calling a countrywide strike if their demands are not met.John...

Oosekuriti tadhi ningi ehololomadhilaahilo

2 months ago - 03 November 2016 | Labour

Konyala oosekuriti dha thika po-3 000 otadhi yi momapandaanda gaVenduka nena onga oshitopolwa shehololomadhilaadhilo lyoondjambi dhili hwepo. Ehololomadhilaadhilo ndyoka tali ningwa moshilongo ashihe uule wowili...

Latest News

Kashihakumwa to head anti-poaching unit

18 hours ago | Police

ILENI NANDJATOThe former Oshana Region police commander, Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa, looks set to head the new anti-poaching unit under the ministry of environment, Namibian Sun...

Four more rhino horns seized

18 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH Undercover police operations last week led to the arrest of two Namibians near Outapi and two Chinese nationals...

Skorpion lays off 278 workers

18 hours ago | Business

STAFF REPORTERThe Skorpion Zinc mine will retrench 278 employees as part of its restructuring process.Its general manager, Irvin Simataa made the announcement.This is the second...

Accidents claim 3 young lives

18 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH An 11-year-old boy died of a gunshot while playing with friends over the weekend and two babies drowned...

Hospital's 'shocking' cat removal tender

18 hours ago | Crime

A tender invited by the Ministry of Health and Social Services for the removal of cats at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital has been described as...

Caterpillars wreak havoc

18 hours ago | Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has confirmed an outbreak of caterpillars causing havoc to fields in north-central and north-eastern Namibia. The ministry's...

Newborn baby left under tree...

18 hours ago | Crime

The police are investigating a case of child abandonment and neglect at Arandis, the rape of a child at Karibib and a murder case at...

Refugees seek audience with UN

18 hours ago | Politics

The group Namibia Refugees Repatriated is seeking an audience the United Nations, according to its spokesperson, Ueshitile Shekupe. “We are seeking a round-table dialogue....

Opposition parties slam Land Bill

18 hours ago | Politics

The United People's Movement (UPM) and the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) have expressed dissatisfaction with the government's resettlement programme ahead of the second land...

Load More