Potholes tender out, no perfect job guarantees

The City of Windhoek will soon embark on a N$30m street resealing programme in many parts of the city in which it has since invited bids whose closing was on 9th August.
But the shoddy work done by these BEE companies is questionable. After the heavy downpour during the 2010/11 rainy season, the city invested millions in a street tarring programme, which was meant to cover almost the whole of it but that was short-lived as patched-up potholes soon re-emerged.
This time, six wanna-be road fixers have submitted their bids with the highest charging tender by VII Investments standing at just over N$38m (N$38 468 979) while Otjomuise Construction has the least of them all at N$25m (N$25 732 890).
Other tenderers include Zebra Surfacing whose bid stands at just over N$34m while Taupele Construction vies for about N$35m, indicating it will complete the entire project in just six months.
Namibia Road Products and Services’ bid stands at just above N$25m and can do the job in 180 days while Downtouch Investments says it can complete it in eight months for N$28 454 930. Otjomuise Construction indicates its job completion date would only be after 176 days while Zebra Surfacing asks for six months to down the job.
The previous companies that had been awarded tenders during and after the rainy season in review did the city a disservice. They had to be re-contracted to fix what they had not from the onset.
By now, the city authorities should know better than to award tenders to companies that will take chances, especially those without proven records. That would result in so much inconvenience for the road users who would have to wait for the roads that had been badly fixed to be resealed.
As much as it is right to empower the locals who are committed to doing a proper job, it would be naïve of the city to blindly award this tender to the usual culprits who never deliver.