“The site will remain closed until the issue of the outstanding 30% that must go to local subcontractors has been revealed”
THE SITUATION is back to normal at the Rooirand Primary School construction site in Barkly West after work was stopped for three weeks by the community.
The community is now satisfied that the construction company is committed to provide 30% beneficiation to local subcontractors.
The company apparently promised that 30% of the construction work on the R94 million project would go to local subcontractors when construction started in May 2019 .
According to the chairperson of the project’s steering committee, Tebogo Raadt, things started falling apart after the contractor refused to reveal the value of the promised 30%. Members of the community then shut down the construction site.
“The site will remain closed until the issue of the outstanding 30% that must go to local subcontractors has been revealed,” Raadt said last week.
The site was reopened for operations on Monday this week following tense engagements between the contractor and the community on Sunday.
The meeting on Sunday followed after deadlocked negotiations between the company, the Independent Development Trust and the provincial Department of Education, which was urged to intervene on January 22.
The value of the promised 30%, which the project’s steering committee refuses to reveal through the media, was disclosed to the community after Sunday’s lengthy meeting.
The community had to wait patiently outside the premises where the meeting was taking place for the outcome.
Raadt said that at the meeting the contractor agreed to a transparency policy and produced proof of all the expenses on the project.
The meeting also saw an offer of a 15% salary increase accepted by the site workers.
“No money will be deducted from the workers as the contractor is to blame for the strike. He is the one who drove us to these drastic measures through withholding critical information from us,” Raadt added.
A commitment was made that the community liaison officer and the site manager would improve their performance. The two were accused of creating a division among the workers through favouritism.