DISPUTED certificates of completion on Phase Two of the Keetmanshoop District Hospital are depriving scores of patients from receiving proper treatment for a variety of illnesses.
The project running into millions of dollars are purportedly 94 percent completed, but the hospital’s TB and radiology wings have been standing empty and disused for almost three years now, and state of the art fittings and refurbishments are going to waste.
The contractor, QE Construction are hanging on to a builders lean on the construction site, while the Ministry of Health and Social Services and their consulting professionals remain steadfast in their refusal to authorise final or even partial payment of outstanding certificates to the contractor, demanding rectification of work done, or additional work to be performed.
According to a contractual agreement, any disputes were to be referred to an adjudicator. That was done, but the dispute remain and Mr. Quintes Erasmus are hanging on to the keys to the hospital, while Government refuse to pay for work that they are convinced by their advising consultants were not up to standard.
The claim by QE Construction now runs into more than N$11 million, but that was reduced by the adjudicator to more realistic numbers, with a recommendation that the parties reach an agreement in the interest of services to be rendered to the public in the Karas region.
However, government still refuses to pay, leaving the patients of Keetmanshoop and surrounding areas in the lurch, while QE also refuses to give in.
With the infrastructure now going to waste, the suggestion was that the parties reach an agreement as soon as possible, and if needed, that a different contractor be appointed to do the retention work so that the intended purpose of the contract can be reached.
The parties, however, persist with their claims, and the doors of the TB hospital remains closed.
The next step in the dispute is arbitration and/or legal steps. In the industry, however, an adjudicators report is normally accepted. This process can go on forever, while the deterioration go on and on, construction jobs are lost and guarantees given by suppliers of equipment and fittings to the state of art hospital lapses one after the other.