Works ministry to blacklist price-inflating construction companies

26 Jun 2018 15:30pm

The works ministry will soon begin blacklisting constriction companies ripping government off through inflating project-costs soon after a comparative study on why Namibian projects are triple-costing compared to other countries with the same topography is done.

Government is also battling consulting engineering companies that are colluding in procurement. 

Speaking at the inauguration of the new engineering council yesterday, works deputy minister, James Sankwasa said this study will be done in a matter of two months after which action will be taken against those caught on the wrong side of the law.

He said the new council will have to advise as to what will be the way forward arm in arm with the study that is coming up.

“I just returned from Zambia over the weekend and there I had gone to arrange that our people should go there by latest by the second week of July, that’s when this study commences. The study should not take that long, the longest we can take is two months. We should be done,” he said.

 The minister said as much as private sector needs a transparent government, they too are expected to come out clean.

“Then that way both the public and private sector have a duty to build Namibia. It should not be transparency demanded from one side only, but both sides,” said the minister.

Sankwasa also reiterated that the new council is to take to task the issue of registering Namibian engineers first before foreigners.

“How are these foreigners being employed? First of all, they are being employed on the basis that they easily acquire registration with the council they don’t go through the hustles that local Namibians go through to register. So therefore they are given preference in employment because they have registration certificates which Namibians don’t have.”

“This is something which the new council has to take very seriously because charity begin s at home it does not end there but when you start charity from outside then charity is not working. And our labour policy is that, we should only recruit foreign expatriates where Namibia does not have that particular skill. Because we are not an island also,” said the minister.

He also added to say that Namibia is not xenophobic: “And we must remove this xenophobia because in Africa it is racially intended. It has got an intention of approaching a certain race and exempting other races and it is time that Africans, am not being racial but Black Africans should start addressing their mindsets”

“We are too quick to judge to judge a fellow Black. To dislike and disregard a fellow Black than other races. We have been used for too long. Time has come to really address who are we. Even if you were going to interrogate this question further and say, who are these foreign expatriates that have got preference, you will find out that the answer is racially inclines.”

Meanwhile, Sankwasa instructed the new council to hit the ground running and bring transformation to engineering by getting rid of racially biased old practices and make it quick for engineers to get easily registered.

He also implored them to submit timely reports to the minister as this has not been happening and where it has, they have been haphazard.

 Those that have been endorsed by cabinet and made it into the new council are Erastus Iikela, Frederick Holtzhausen, Grant Kloppers, Albertine Shipena, Charles Langford, Martha Kamati-Endjala, Immanuel Kambinda, Katrina Thomas, Jacqueline Mukuka and Dr. Smita Francis.