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Payment to Rumdel withheld

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — The government has withheld the payment of M10 million to a South African company that is battling to complete the installation of a water and sewage system in two villages north of Maseru.

Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki told parliament last week that the M10 million would not be paid to Rumdel Construction unless it completes the work which is long overdue in Khubetsoana and Ha-Mabote.

“If Rumdel does not do as required by its employer, the government, another company will be engaged and Rumdel will have to go,” Moleleki said.

Moleleki was responding to a question from All Basotho Convention MP for Mabote, Thabang Nchai, on what the government would do to intervene in cases where people are failing to park at their homes because of the trenches that Rumdel has dug.

Nchai had complained that the company had dug holes and blocked roads with heaps of soil and many people had spent months unable to access their homes with their cars.

“People have to leave their cars several metres from their homes and thus put them at risk of theft and vandalism,” Nchai said.

Rumdel has been struggling to complete its projects in Khubetsoana and Ha-Mabote.

For instance, work along the road from Main North 1 road to Ha Mabote police station has been going on for the past six months.

Moleleki said Rumdel was supposed to have completed installing the water and sewage network before the construction of access roads in Khubetsoana and Ha-Mabote but it delayed until a company that was contracted to build roads began its work.

Progress on both the water network and the road construction had stalled because the two firms were not co-operating.

The minister also told parliament that the Water and Sewage Company, which is owned by the government, has given Rumdel up to a month to complete its work or else another company will be contracted to take over.

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