Millions spent on pothole repairs

10 000 m² of potholes need to be repaired
The municipality of Walvis Bay has spent N$11.4 million on pothole repairs during the 2023/24 financial year.
Leandrea Mouers
In response to a motion tabled by deputy mayor Sara Mutondoka, the municipality of Walvis Bay has provided a report on the repairs of its roads and potholes, which has been a bone of contention among the harbour town residents.

The latest council meeting agenda indicated that the municipality entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Road Fund Administration (RFA), whereby the RFA will spend N$238 million on the rehabilitation of the major port roads.

“The roads falling under the scope of this MoU are all roads leading to and in the vicinity of the Walvis Bay port. The potholes in this area were not surveyed.”

The roads are Kovambo Nujoma Drive, Nangolo Mbumba Road, Fifth Street, Hanna Mupetami Street, Circumferential Road, Hidipo Hamutenya Road, Ben Amathila Street, First Street, Allen Dean Martin Street, John Newman Road, Third Street East, 18th Road, Grand Avenue, Ninth Street East, and Oven Stone Street.

Furthermore, the municipality has appointed four contractors through an open advertised bid for road repair works that consisted primarily of repairing potholes.

“Repairing potholes typically includes sawing a neat square area and replacing a portion of the base material, and applying the cold mix bitumen product. The work executed during the 23/24 financial year amounts to about N$11.4 million.”

The biggest chunk of this N$11.4 million (34%) was spent on the light industrial area of Walvis Bay (approximately N$3,8 million), Kuisebmond (approx. N$3 million), Meersig (approx. N$2,4 million), Narraville (approx. N$1 million), and CBD (N$838 048).

“The value of the works was recalculated to arrive at a value that represents the total area, in square meters, of potholes repaired.

In the light industrial area, a total of 6 243 repairs have been done: 4 999 in Kuisebmond, 3 982 in Meersig, 1 792 in Narraville, 1 382 in the CBD, and 109 in the industrial area for the 2023/24 financial year.

Furthermore, a survey was conducted in April 2024, where the outstanding potholes were measured.

“The scope of the outstanding potholes amounts to approximately 10 000 m².”

In the light industrial area, there are about 4 066 potholes to be repaired: 2 252 in Kuisebmond, 1 295 in Narraville, 323 in Meersig, and 954 in the CBD of Walvis Bay.

“The survey only focused on potholes within the roadway and not on the sidewalks. There are several sidewalks in poor condition that will also require surfacing, but these have not been captured. The remaining potholes amount to 34%.”

Additionally, the municipality stated that, apart from the external pothole contractors, it also has an in-house pothole team.

“This team has experienced delays in procuring bitumen products and the occasional repair of plant and equipment.

“The repair plant also requires going through a procurement process since service providers are not in place. To address this, an annual bitumen product bid was submitted to the Procurement Management Unit (PMU), and the advertising bid is awaited.

“Once the bitumen supplier has been appointed, the supply of raw materials should no longer be delayed.”

Furthermore, the report also stated that it is not practical to allocate the entire volume of remaining potholes (9 544 m²) to the in-house team.

“This will require the costly procurement of additional plant and personnel. The strategy developed is to address the bulk of the work with external contractors while keeping the in-house pothole team operational for the purpose of addressing potholes on an ad hoc basis.”

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