Namibia’s housing project comes to stand still over pay dispute

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Construction of 60 houses in Rundu, which is under the Namibia’s mass housing project has come to stand still over pay dispute between the main contractor, Green Circle Investment Company and a sub-contractor.

The construction stopped late September after employees of the contracted company Lo-Ammi Trading Construction failed to turn up for work due to nonpayment.

The government of Namibia gave Lo-Ammi Trading the contract to build the houses at the Kaisosi informal settlement.

It’s alleged that the company asked 140 of its workers to stop working after the company was not paid all the dues.

The workers now have asked their employer to pay them in full as per their contractual agreement, and accuse the employer of withholding information about the project.

According to the workers’ spokesperson, Alfredo Mukuve, the employer is used to paying not in full.

On the other side, Green Circle Investment has confirmed the halting of the housing project through their project coordinator, Sylvester Mieze, pending the settlement of the dispute between them and the subcontractor, adding that they will resume operations once the dispute – which is being handled by lawyers – has ended.

He has however indicated that the schedule for the housing project completion will not be affected following the dispute. The company is supposed to deliver on 60 houses by the end of November this year according to him.

Mieze has denied not paying in full, saying that the sub-contractor is paid monthly and the only money withheld is retention money.

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) handed over the site for the construction in February this year, but work could not commence due to that disagreement.

The workers strike comes up when the company has pressure from the government to deliver the housing project that started this last June. The project is part of the Windhoek mass housing project set for completion in 2015.