Category archives for: Construction

Namibia: Construction Industry Continues On Sluggish Path

The number of building plans approved within the capital city, Windhoek municipal area by July 2017 contracted by 6.2% year-to-date (YTD) to 2050 units, compared to a contraction of 27.5% YTD in July 2016, as revealed by research firm, Simonis Storm Securities (SSS).

The firm this week in an analysis of the construction industry said, on a monthly basis, building plans approved contracted further by 31.5% compared to a growth of 8.1 percent in the prior month.

“Alongside, the number of buildings completed also contracted by 16.2% YTD to 354 units compared to a contraction of 41.7% YTD to date in July 2016. On a monthly basis, buildings completed rebounded by 94.7% after a contraction of 62% was recorded in the prior month,” said SSS Economist, Frans Uusiku in a statement.

According to Uusiku, in monetary terms, the value of buildings completed continued to contract by 4.1% YTD to N$431.5 million in July 2017, compared to a contraction of 33.1% YTD in July last year.

Meanwhile, the country’s statistics agency, NSA in their Revised Annual National Accounts statement released on Thursday, blamed the slump in the secondary industries, to the construction sector which recorded a decline in real value added of 26.5 percent in 2016 compared to a robust growth of 26% in 2015.

“The real value for construction works by general government slowed to 5.6 percent in 2016 from a growth of 31 percent recorded in 2015,” NSA added.

Uusiku in his analysis further said that overall, although the notable contraction in the number of building plans approved and buildings completed to date has relatively improved from 12 months ago, the research firm believes that the recession in the construction sector may be longer than expected.

“This is because most construction activity that drove output in the past was government activity, construction on mines and roads, which have come to a standstill, as government revenue squeeze lingers,” he added.


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South Africa: Joint Statement By Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Premier Phumulo Masualle On N2 Wild Coast Project

press release

Joint media statement by the Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi and the Eastern Cape Premier, Mr Phumulo Masualle held at the Eastern Cape State House

Premier Phumulo Masualle

MEC for Roads and Public Works Ms Thandiswa Marawu

MEC for Transport, Ms Weziwe Tikana

Member of the SANRAL Board, Mr Matete Matete

Acting Director General, Chris Hlabisa

SANRAL CEO, Sikhumbuzo Macozoma

Senior Management of the all spheres of government present

Members of the media

Ladies and gentlemen

Today I met with the Eastern Cape Premier Mr Phumulo Masualle, MEC for Roads and Public Works Ms Thandiswa Marawu and MEC for Transport Weziwe Tikana to give them an update about the N2 Wild Coast Project.

As you may know the N2 is a strategic route that traverses four provinces, namely, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga. As government we are aware that an investment in this road can have major socio economic benefits for these provinces.

Today, we are here to talk to you about the N2 as it relates to the Eastern Cape. Known as the N2 Wild Coast Project, this is one of the eighteen (18) Strategic Integrated Project (SIP 3) that was approved by Cabinet.

In the Eastern Cape, the N2 Wild Coast stretch from East London to the Eastern Cape boarder. Of the total length, some 112 km would be on a new “greenfields” alignment between the Ndwalane (near Port St Johns) and the Mtamvuna River (near Port Edward).

The road will include two (2) mega-bridge structures on the Msikaba and Mtentu Rivers, Seven (7) additional major river bridges and five (5) interchange bridges.

The remainder of the project comprises the upgrading of the existing roads, mainly the R61 already underway and the future construction of ring roads at Mthatha, Idutwya and Butterworth.

Once complete the route will be approximately 85 km shorter than the current N2 alignment from Mthatha to Port Shepstone and will be up to three (3) hours faster, particularly for heavy freight vehicles.

Ladies and gentlemen, we see the N2 Wild Coast as not only a road project but catalyst for other developments.

Economically, the project will result in significantly faster delivery times and lower transportation costs in terms of freight. It will improve mobility and connectivity between provinces and towns within and between provinces.

The Wild Coast has a lot of tourism potential and this project will improve access, mobility and attractiveness for tourists. Also, it will open up the provinces agricultural potential by improving access to markets through an improved road.

In terms of Local Economic Development, the project will yield significant Local SMME/business opportunities, both directly and indirectly.

SANRAL will ensure that local SMMEs have a significant involvement in the project through the following measures:

Upfront training of local SMMEs (already underway);

A minimum 30% CPG goal for all road infrastructure projects including sub allocations for various levels of contractors linked to local target areas as well as local suppliers of goods and services;

Unbundling of a minimum of 14 grade 4-7 CE and GB contracts for relocation of affected households and the construction of local access roads;

Training and development of SMMEs and labour during construction;

The development of local hard rock quarries and sand mines;

The implementation of various community development projects; and;

The use of Targeted Enterprises for 20%-30% of the consultants design work + additional opportunities for local professionals

The positive economic impact will be felt by places such as Port St Johns, Lusikisiki and Mzamba, as well as towns such as Flagstaff, Bizana and Holy Cross. The mandate given to SANRAL is to ensure that locals benefit from both jobs and business opportunities.

Ladies and gentlemen, a road is not just a road. It links communities to other social services provided by government and this road will certainly improve access to health care, education and other social services.

The budget for the upgrading of the existing N2 and R61 portions of the N2 Wild Coast project has since 2011 been funded from the SANRAL non-toll budget.

The total budget required for the N2 Wild Coast Road greenfields portion is approximately R8.5 – 9.0 billion.

Funding for the two bridges has already been made available through the Department of Transport.

The Ministry will be making an announcement as soon as I have completed my interaction with the SANRAL Board in this regard.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to thank the Premier, the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, the PICC, Political Oversight Committee, Mayors and affected Districts and Municipalities, Traditional Leaders, Business Chambers and the affected Communities for the support and enthusiasm that they have shown for this project thus far.

As we roll it out, we are hopeful that the same spirit of collaboration and cooperation will continue.

I thank you.

Issued by: Department of Transport

Malawi: Council Gives Karonga Stadium Contractor One-Month Ultimatum

By Wisdom Ngwira -Mana

Karonga District Council has given Nangaunozge Building Contractors a 30-day ultimatum to complete construction of Karonga Stadium.

The stadium was initially scheduled for completion last year, but heavy rains that affected construction works forced extension of the project’s duration.

Karonga district council chairperson Ernest Mwalweni said the contractor asked for an extension and proposed July this year. But up to now, the stadium remains unfinished.

“I would like to clearly state that we have given the contractor one-month ultimatum from now to complete all works so that the council and residents start using the facility.

“We can no longer expect any further delay; the fact is we need the stadium to be ready by next month without fail,” Mwalweni said.

However, he was quick to point out that despite being behind completion schedule, the contractor has done a good job saying the stadium is of high quality.

“One thing that is encouraging to us, though, is that the contractor has done a very commendable job. This stadium is very unique compared to other stadia which have been built from the same Local Development Fund.

“We commend the contractor for a good job and we expect the project to be fully complete by next month so that the contractor’s good reputation should be maintained. If this is done then the people of Karonga will be happy,” Mwalweni said.

Meanwhile, a foreman working at the project who opted for anonymity confided in Malawi News Agency (Mana) that by August end this year, the stadium should be ready to host matches or any event.

Once completed, Karonga Stadium will be a relief to northern region football teams playing in the TNM Super league, especially Chitipa United which has been finding it difficult to cope with huge transport costs to rely on Mzuzu Stadium as home ground.

Chitipa United FC Coach Kondwani Mwalweni said allowing his team to host its matches at Karonga Stadium would not only help the team financially, but also boost the team’s chances of surviving in the league.

“We travel close to 1000 kilometres to fulfill almost all of our fixtures and this pains us a lot. We hope Football Association of Malawi and Super League of Malawi will certify this stadium.

“Many of our supporters are from Chitipa and Karonga, so we hope we will benefit a lot from this stadium,” Mwalweni said.


Ruling Party’s Wa Jeffrey ‘Arrogance, Rudeness’ Denounced

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Angola: Nzeto-Soyo Freeway Opened

Soyo — The Nzeto/Soyo motorway was opened Thursday in this locality, in a ceremony led by Angolan Vice-president, Manuel Vicente.

With 150 kilometers and nine bridges, the highway was partly opened, as one of the car lanes will be completed only in December of this year.

The Construction minister, Artur Fortunato, stressed the importance of infrastructure for the region and the country, taking into account the potential of the River Zaire, the ocean and fertile land.


AU Deploys Short Term Election Observers to Witness the 23rd August 2017 General Elections

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Cameroon: South West – Gigantic Worksites, Redeeming Commuters

By Nkeze Mbonwoh

The Region is gradually recovering from the nightmares of yesteryear’s bad roads.

Commuters in the South West Region have begun to beam out smiles of comfort on two major roads in the area namely the 151 – Kilometre Kumba-Mamfe and the 124-Kilometre Bamenda-Mamfe-Ekok popularly known as the Bamenda-Enugu Transnational Corridor. It now takes 45 minutes from Mamfe to Ekok, a journey many recall that it took days during the rainy season. The new-found joy of the people is coming to bury erstwhile gutters of wrinkles on the faces of businessmen and women, farmers and travelers who wept over bad roads and could not turn their economy full circle. Mayors of many South West localities, as the people’s representatives, were like agreed to welcome each Governor or Minister reminding them that to travel from the Regional capital, Buea, to four of its six administrative Divisions required to pass through Nigeria or through three other Regions of Cameroon to get back to the South West. The page of such nightmares is being turned with voyagers from Bamenda (North West Region) or Mamfe (Manyu Division) dressing in their cream white suits or “agwada” and riding safari cars to Kumba, Buea or even Douala passing through Manyemen (Nguti) in Kupe Manenguba Division. “It is a dream-come-true”, as many roadside dwellers testified to this reporter last week. Socio economic plus The fallouts are already evident. Many modern houses are mushrooming along these highways thanks to facilitated transportation of construction material like cement, iron rods, corrugated iron and sand. The diaspora now quickly visit their ancestral lands and can make on-the-spot conception of development. Rural exodus is being curbed with many eager to stay back at home and develop themselves instead of crowding the cities in misery. Farmers can now place their produce by door-sides and be sure of traveler-buyers. The administration can quickly reach the people and liaise for development. Politically, many more people now speak better of their government because of better road communication that had been their all-time cry. Patients can get to hospital quicker to save their lives. And so the gains of good roads are already multifarious with the highways of Bamenda-Bachuo Akagbe-Ekok and the Kumba-Mamfe.


Cycling – Chantal Biya Cycling Race Itinerary Disclosed

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Zimbabwe: Firm, Land Developers to Address Housing Backlog

By Jeoffrey Ncube

The National Building Society has committed to addressing Zimbabwe’s housing backlog through partnering land developers to roll out more housing projects around the country.

Speaking at the Amalinda housing development ribbon cutting event in Harare last week, NBS acting Chairman, Nimrod Chiminya said they will be partnering land developers in their upcoming projects as they work to avail more affordable housing to the people.

“This project will see 65 families realize their dream and we are extremely proud to be associated with like-minded partners who share our vision to avail affordable housing and to help address the country’s national housing back log.

“Going forward, we expect to partner with other stakeholders, in particular land developers so that we can expedite more projects and our interest will be specifically in mobilizing low cost finance, which is one of the missing ingredients in the current housing delivery matrix.

“We are confident that with the cost of money addressed we will start to see more people access housing,” said Chiminya.

He added that NBS is set to open more branches in response to high demand for their services.

“Judging by the response that we have already received from the market, people from all over Zimbabwe are waiting for us to come to them in terms of branches, services and extension of mortgage finance.

“I assure you that we are working around the clock to make ourselves available to you and will look to leverage ICTs including Internet and mobile banking platforms to do so,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira said NBS’s work was in line with ZIMASSET’s social service and poverty reduction cluster.

“The work that NBS is doing certainly falls in line with the national economic blue print ZIMASSET’s pillar on social service and poverty reduction, which mandates NSSA to deliver affordable housing stock to Zimbabweans.


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Nigeria: Reps Probe NPA Over N5.1 Billion Contract

By Musa Abdullahi Krishi

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has commenced investigation into a N5.1 billion contract awarded by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) for the renovation of its headquarters in Lagos.

The committee resolved to investigate the contract following queries raised by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation for 2011.

The committee chairman, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) said during a session with the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman yesterday in Abuja that the investigation was to expose any under-hand dealing that might have taken place.

The agreement for the contract, awarded in 2011 to Sageto, was said to have been signed in 2012, about a year after works had commenced on the NPA Building.

The MD, who assumed office several months ago, had told the panel that NPA began the contract after an approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and that they obtained a certificate of no objection from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).


Police, Judges Highest Bribe-Takers, Says UN Agency

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Mali: ICC Orders Ex-Islamic Radical to Pay Damages for Destruction of Shrines

The International Criminal Court has ordered an Islamic extremist to pay $3.2 million in restitution for destroying centuries-old religious shrines in Mali.

Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi was convicted by the court last year for overseeing the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque door with pickaxes and bulldozers in the ancient city of Timbuktu, when extremists briefly seized control of northern Mali in 2012.

In a landmark ruling, the court treated the destruction of the shrines as a war crime when it sentenced Al-Mahdi to nine years in prison. He was facing as many as 30 years in jail, but the court took into account his admission of guilt and expression of remorse.

The shrines date back as far as the 14th century and are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency. The U.N. agency has since restored the mausoleums.

Known as “the City of 333 Saints,” Timbuktu is regarded as a center of Islamic teaching and key to the spread of Islam across the African continent.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said al-Mahdi’s alleged actions amounted to “a callous assault on the dignity and identity of entire populations and their region and historical roots.”

Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said such acts “are a tragedy for all civilized people, and the civilized world must take a stand.”


Mali, Burkina Faso Attacks Boost Calls for G5 Anti-Jihadi Force At UN

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South Africa: Process Underway for Local Houses of Traditional Leaders

The Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) says the process to establish Local Houses of Traditional Leaders (LHTL) in the province is firmly in place.

This following the end of term of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders. The department on Tuesday said its MEC Fikile Xasa has held meetings with key stakeholders affected by the process.

The Houses will be established in Alfred Nzo, Chris Hani, Amathole, Joe Gqabi, OR Tambo and Buffalo City Metro Municipalities.

The MEC has met with members of the former executive committee of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Speakers from District Municipalities, leadership of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and Kings in Mthatha and East London recently.

The department said the purpose of the sessions was to share information with regard to regulations on the election of members of the Houses.

MEC Xasa said they are all determined to ensure that the entire process is technically sound and beyond reproach.

“We want to do things in line with provisions of the law and applicable regulations without fail. The Premier of the Province and myself will act as referees to achieve a free and fair election process.”

He added that a steering committee made up of key and relevant stakeholders will be established soon to implement the process within the agreed time lines.

The membership of the local houses will consist of Kings and Queens or their representatives, about 60% of senior traditional leaders, and 40% of headmen or headwomen.

The department said chairpersons of the traditional councils will convene Imbizo meetings in their areas of jurisdiction to elect or select three people to serve on the Electoral College for the District and Metropolitan municipality concerned.

“All meetings must be held on the same day throughout the Province. All members of the traditional community must participate in the nomination, selection or election of candidates to serve in the Local Houses,” said MEC Xasa.

Before assuming their functions in the local houses, members will be sworn in by taking an oath before a Magistrate. Once that is done, the process to select or elect members of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders will start and be completed on the same day in the affected area.

South Africa

President Zuma Receives Report On Abuse of Religion

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Mauritius: Construction of a Second Passenger Terminal to Start in 2019, PM Announces

press release

The Airport Master Plan is being reviewed to accommodate the construction of a second passenger terminal which is another major infrastructure project in view to modernise the transport sector, announced the Prime Minister. The construction is expected to start in 2019 and should be completed by 2020.

This announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on 11 August 2017 during the cocktail ceremony on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Air Mauritius. The ceremony held at Hennessy Park Hotel, Ebène, was attended by various eminent personalities.

The Prime Minister pointed out that celebrating 50 years of existence is an incredible milestone for any company. On that score, he highlighted that Air Mauritius is a symbol of national pride and a living example of how private and public partnership can collaborate together in the interest of the country.

He recalled that Air Mauritius accompanied the country during its golden years when economic development became synonymous with air connectivity. It helped bringing Mauritius closer to its main markets thus giving a new impetus to key sectors of the economy, he added.

Air Mauritius, the national carrier, has had a fundamental mission to accomplish, that of representing national interest in supporting the government policies in terms of connectivity with the rest of the world and in particular spurring the growth and development of a nascent tourism industry, he further added.

Air Mauritius will also have to adapt to government policy of developing an airport brand as having a strong national airline has become even more crucial as a realisation of the vision of a modern Mauritius, highlighted the Prime Minister. This in turn will hinge on our capacity to expand connectivity and to further open our country to the rest of the world, he stated.

He concluded by stressing that Air Mauritius needs four quintessential ingredients to achieve new heights: a renewal of fleet , which soon will be strengthened with the acquisition of two new airbuses A 350, one by the end of October and another one by the end of November this year and six additional airbuses over the next five years ; a quality of service that will make it an airline of choice ; achieve economic sustainability in the face of erratic economic cycle; and become relevant to its customers.

For his part, the CEO of Air Mauritius, Mr Somas Appavou, underlined that the main challenge of the company resides in their capacity to break the glass-ceiling to transform Air Mauritius from a national carrier to become the leading and preferred airline in Africa. To this end, it will upscale its operation and services based on new business models.

He also announced the setting up of the Air Mauritius foundation which is a concrete example of the company’s commitment to support the country and its operation in areas of importance.

The Foundation, launched by Mrs Kobita Jugnauth, aims at promoting arts and culture, conservation of natural heritage and environment, empowering youths by contributing to the development of sports and encouraging excellence in education.

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