Dispute: No end in sight

2015-05-13 06:00

THERE is no end in sight in resolving the longstanding dispute which saw construction work halted at the Merriespruit Community Residential Units Complex in Meloding, Virginia.

The construction came to an abrupt halt earlier this year following a dispute between subcontractors and the main contractor, Reder Construction.

The bitter dispute was centred on the outstanding payment of subcontractors, job reservation and the allocation of work to contractors. About 27 aggrieved subcontractors plunged the construction work into chaos when they protested, demanding better treatment by the main contractor and intervention by the department in question.

Following the deadlock, a new completion date is yet to be determined, after construction work could not be completed on the due date of end of March 2015.

According to the contractual agreement and project schedule, the contractor was obliged to have completed work by end March. Furthermore, it was stated that penalties would be imposed if the main contractor failed to deliver the project by the agreed-on completion date.

“The project has to be completed before end 2015. It has been agreed that verification of payments would be completed early in April – after these holidays. Only a small number of payments verification is outstanding and once this is completed work should resume,” Senne Bogatsu, spokesperson of the Department of Local Government and Housing, said.

Bogatsu said a decision had been taken that the contractor would complete the outstanding work after the work had been verified as agreed upon.

“Verification of the quantity of work has been done and agreed upon by all parties. This will be equally shared among subcontractors. Most of the problems have been addressed and resolved amicably, especially regarding payments.”

The multi-million venture is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) development emanating from a tripartite agreement between the Free State Provincial Government Department of Human Settlements, the Matjhabeng Local Municipality and Harmony Gold Mines.

Express Goldfields andamp; NFS reliably learnt that a series of crucial meetings were still being held to resolve other issues relating to the main contractor and subcontractors, including the workers. The series of meetings, set to involve Olly Mlamleli, the MEC for Local Government and Housing, and stakeholders that include Harmony Gold Mines, have been ongoing since mid-February.

The multi-million rand housing project is for people earning between R800 and R3 500

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