01 Jun 2014 17:30pm
WALVIS BAY, 01 JUN (NAMPA) More than five sub-contractors who were working on the Mass Housing project in Walvis Bay have apparently withdrawn from the project as they are not happy with their employment contracts.
About 10 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Walvis Bay were sub-contracted by the Seven Sirs Group to construct 70 houses in the Kuisebmond residential area for the project.
According to one of the sub-contractors who is still working for the project, fellow entrepreneurs left in the middle of last month as the payment offered to them in the new formal contracts which replaced the initial verbal agreements, is allegedly insufficient and does not cover employees salaries.
The majority of the sub-contractors left because they are not happy with the contracts, a few of us who are remaining are just sacrificing. We used money from our own pockets to pay our people but when we got paid, the money was not enough to recover what we spent, so we lost money, he told Nampa.
He went on to say their complaints about money were somehow sorted and they received the amounts they agreed on, but this money turned out to not be enough to cover all salaries and other expenses.
He also claimed that the sub-contractors have already been replaced.
Nampa visited the site on Friday and established that the work on the project was continuing as usual.
Abdul Salomon, a site agent of Seven Sirs, told this agency at the site that the sub-contractors were paid and everything is going as usual.
As you can see the work is progressing as usual, everyone is paid, that is all I can say, Salomon said.
He however would not respond to questions on whether some sub-contractors have left the project and referred this news agency to Seven Sirs director Alvin Naidoo.
Naidoo, who is said to be in South Africa, could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone appeared to be switched off.
Also approached for comment on Friday, officials at the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) office in Walvis Bay were tight-lipped when asked about the funding of the project.
Local media reports last week had it that despite President Hifikepunye Pohamba approving billions of dollars for project, the funds have still not been released by the Treasury and as such the NHE has apparently been using its own funds to run the project.
According to the reports, President Pohamba is expected to meet with Cabinet ministers and other stakeholders involved in the project this week to ensure that the funds are released and the project continues smoothly.
The NHE was tasked by Government to implement the national Mass Housing projects.
We cannot say anything about that issue, it is in the hands of President Pohamba who initiated the project so we are just waiting for him to say something, said an official who asked not to be named.