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The Roads Authority (RA) Chief Executive Officer is not impressed with the slow progress on the Engoyi-Omuntele road upgrade.

The road construction commenced in October last year and was to be completed by September this year.

On a site visit to the project, Conrad Lutombi said the project is behind schedule by two and a half months.

N$20 million was supposed to be spent so far on the project, but to date, the contractor has only used N$5 million.

The project, fully funded by the Road Fund Administration (RFA) at N$43 million, was awarded to the Road Construction Company (RCC) to construct the 16,3-kilometre road, but up to now, they have only worked on a distance of six kilometres. 

"I am personally very concerned about the progress of the project; in fact, I will say I am not happy, and I made it very clear during the meeting with the contractor and the consultant, as well as the one official who is on this project, that we need to pull our socks and make sure we realise this project is coming in September because we believe we are here to serve the nation. If we delay this project, we will deny service to the community."

The RA will issue the contractor a 21-day notice to rectify and fast-track the progress without compromising on quality.

If the contractor fails to deliver as expected, the RA will be forced to terminate the contract and appoint another contractor who will deliver on time.

The consultant entrusted to oversee the project on behalf of the RA as well as the officials responsible for managing the project were not spared either because they failed to report the shortcomings.

"And those officials, we hold them accountable to make sure that they are on the project. We can't stay in the office; our work is here, so if people are sitting in the office and there is a delay and we are coming from Windhoek to come and find this, we cannot tolerate that, and we are serious about that. If people don't want to work, they must go and find a job somewhere else."

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Roads Contractor Company, Dasius Nelumbu, says they have been faced with the challenge of insufficient water and sourcing of materials, but they promised that when the team returns for their second inspection in May, they will find improvement.

"We are fully committed to making sure that this project is a success, even if it means we have to bring in a second team or a third team to make sure that we meet the deadline as set by the contract that we have signed."

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Tonateni Haimbodi