KEETMANSHOOP: In spite of the delay and controversy that rocked the Neckertal Dam project, Government will still build the dam, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said on Friday.
He said this during the foundation-laying ceremony of the Old Mutual Keetmanshoop Retail Centre, in response to Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi’s request that the project’s tender process be sped up.
The construction of the dam has been delayed for two years now, as the Tender Board of Namibia and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry are still busy with the pre-qualification tendering process.
The two entities are trying to make sure that the best company gets the tender.
In December last year, the first round of the tender process was plunged into controversy, with claims that Tender Board members and tenderers exchanged money to gain advantage.
Local media reported in August this year that the final tender is expected to be awarded towards the end of November this year, and that means the construction will only start next year.
“Government has made an irreversible decision to build the Neckertal Dam. It is on the cards and we will build it.
Whatever delays are experienced, we do not appreciate it, but transparency is needed in the tendering process,” the president said.
Pohamba also used the opportunity to show his support to Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD) Jerry Ekandjo for advocating to stop the auctioning of urban land to ensure land is affordable to all.
“I fully support Ekandjo, because poor people cannot afford auctioned land,” he said, adding that local authorities should try to understand residents and find better ways to deal with them when they defy authorities on land issues.
Twenty-three companies from countries such as China, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Russia tendered for the construction of the dam.