The Northern Cape Department of Education has appealed to the Dikgatlong community to remain calm after they raised concerns around the unfinished construction of the new Rooirand Primary School in Barkly West.
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education has appealed to the Dikgatlong community to remain calm after they raised concerns around the unfinished construction of the new Rooirand Primary School in Barkly West.
Construction was apparently stopped due to the non-payment of the contractor.
It is believed that the contractor, Stimos Maintenance & Projects, is owed about R8 million and had to put construction on hold.
The project was initially supposed to be handed over in December 2020, but is now behind schedule due to Covid-19 and a lack of funds.
Apparently work was initially supposed to resume in January after the December recess, but things did not go according to plan and construction workers were sent home several times.
Spokesperson for the department, Lehuma Ntuane, said that the school project was among the major infrastructure projects that were put on hold due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
“This resulted in major delays in the completion of the project,” Ntuane said.
The department reviewed the completion time frames and, as a result, granted an extension to all infrastructure projects.
“This includes the Rooirand Primary School which is at an advanced stage of construction.”
He said they are currently processing the outstanding payment due to the contractor.
A concerned resident and worker at the site indicated that they now fear vandalism at the school while the security company appointed to guard the construction site has not been paid for February 2021.
The Project Steering Committee indicated that, as part of their preventative measures, they engaged the security company to remain on site until March 18.
Director of the construction company, John Mamabolo, indicated that he is looking forward to completing the project.
He said he understands the impact of Covid-19 and stated that the department is keeping him up to date.
According to his estimation the project might be handed over in October 2021.