City projects in limbo after allegations of unpaid wages

2016-04-25 10:30
Cattle grazing in Alexandra Park after work on the multi-million upgrade project was stalled.

Cattle grazing in Alexandra Park after work on the multi-million upgrade project was stalled. (Thabang Mathebula, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Contract workers at two multi-million rand projects of the Msunduzi Municipality downed tools earlier this month, allegedly due to unpaid salaries.

Work on the R30 million upgrade of Alexandra Park athletics stadium and the R23,4 million revamp of the park itself remained in limbo as contract workers had allegedly not been paid their salaries.

Work on the International Association of Athletics Federations-accredited facility had already been stopped for nearly four weeks.

Cattle were last week seen grazing in areas where work was meant to be under way for the park revitalisation project. This project has been on hold for nearly three months.

Msunduzi Municipality acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the park project was an initiative being funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and an implementing agent had been appointed to manage the project.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances the project has stopped but will continue on May 1,” she said.

Madonda said the project was expected to be complete in November.

She said work on the athletics stadium project had not been stopped, “but work has been suspended only for a matter of days to allow time to implement remedial measures that are necessary because the contractor was falling behind on payments to their employees and suppliers”.

Madonda said striking workers and lack of materials and services meant that work by the contractors had virtually stopped.

Musa Shezi of HH Civil refuted the claims that the construction had stopped.

He said the project was entering a new phase. “The building part has been completed. We are waiting to move to another phase, which is to put up the roof,” he said.

Madonda said the municipality had taken measures to allow construction to continue without any further delays.

“The city has reached an agreement with the contractor to place a construction management team on site to manage the completion of the works and the payment of suppliers and sub-contractors required to complete the project.”

She said the project was due to be complete in two months, but it may now take two months longer to finish, and “the budget does not change”.

“It is unfortunate that there are delays to the complete project, but by implementing this rescue strategy the cost of the project, the quality and the scope of the final product is not affected, and the short delay is the only consequence to the city and the athletics community,” said Madonda.


Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg  |  unpaid salaries

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