23 Jun 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUN (NAMPA) - Government has so far spent more than N.dollars 20 million, including Value Added Tax, on fees for a feasibility study and concept design development for the proposed new parliament building.
Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus !Naruseb said N.dollars 20 833 237 has been spent on the parliament to date.
He was responding to questions by DTA Member of Parliament (MP) Nico Smit on what amounts have already been spent in relation to the building of a new parliament, in the National Assembly on Thursday.
Naruseb explained that N.dollars 3 139 532 was spent on professional fees for a feasibility study on a new parliament, of which N.dollars 1 796 943 was paid over to the architects; N.dollars 772 000 to the quantity surveyors; N. dollars 400 000 to civil and structural engineers and N.dollars 170 589 to mechanical and electrical engineers, all inclusive of Value Added Tax.
He also announced that N. dollars 17 693 705 was spent on professional fees for concept design development.
Of this amount, N. dollars 14 632 965 was paid over to the architects, N.dollars 1 660 740 for mechanical and electrical engineers and N. dollars 1 400 000 for geotechnical engineer.
!Naruseb made it clear that the estimated cost of building the new parliament is yet to be confirmed after the two houses sit and agree on spaces required.
The accommodation spaces required will influence the estimated cost of the new parliament building, he said.
He noted that under the vote of the National Assembly, which initiated the planning of the new parliament, there was no provision for the National Council accommodation spaces.
The National Council, he added, was also in the process of planning an expansion due to the increased number of members of the council.
The Works and Transport Minister further noted that in July 2015, both the National Assembly and National Council realised that there is a need to combine the two houses into one house, technically called a parliament.
The two houses even went to the extent of combining their two votes so as to facilitate the realisation of a parliament. This is in line with other commonwealth countries as well as other countries in the region. In the Namibian context, a parliament is defined as a combination of the two august houses, i.e. National Council and National Assembly, he stressed.
He added that efforts are being made to amalgamate the two houses by reviewing the feasibility studies which were presented separately thus far by the two.
!Naruseb also said that to date, there is no finalised design for the new parliament, since the review process of accommodation space requirements has not been finalised by technical sub-committees from both National Assembly and National Council.
There are however stalled master plan sketches of how the two houses could be accommodated, he said, noting that there is no cost associated with these sketches yet.
Said !Naruseb: The new parliament design and cost associated with it is not an approved version of the parliament as envisaged by the two august houses as planning is still in progress.