The City of Windhoek started resurfacing roads that they deem need resurfacing in March and this process will carry on until September 2015.
The City stated that they are using this period of the year to maintain the roads because, the roads can not be worked on during summer because the material used to resurface the roads will melt and the rest of the year is the rainy season and they are not willing to take that risk at all.
Lydia Amutenya, Public Relations Officer, City of Windhoek said that the company awarded the tender for resurfacing the roads, Messr Tau Pele Constructions Namibia is working around the clock, even at night to make sure that the maintenance is completed in time. She urged the residents of Windhoek to be patient and bear with them because they will add additional lanes to some of the roads like the Sam Nujoma Drive and Independence Avenue in front of Katutura Hospital.
“We will not be tarring new roads at the moment. We arejust making sure that cracks and potholes are covered at the moment before the situation gets worse,” she emphasised. Asked by The Economist why the contractors start working on new roads before completing the previous roads, Lydia explained that it might be because some of the materials they are using is recycled material. “Which means that they re-use the material they have dug up and the material that is not being recycled comes from South Africa and it takes a while to get here,” she explained.
The City said that the maintenance of the roads will cost N$78 million which will come from a maintenance budget that spans for two financial years, and they are certain that the contractors will manage the work load. The City also confirmed that not a lot of skills transfer has been done because this is specialised work and the workforce go where the machines go. She added that they do not have enough premix (asphalt) roads in Windhoek, or Namibia for that matter to keep a premix team busy for 12 months a year, for years on end.
The City also said in a statement that under ideal conditions, preventative maintenance will be done on a regular basis to ensure the integrity of the waterproof seal, but it is basically impossible to do due to financial constraints. They said the type of sealing layer to be placed on top of the surface roads will depend on the type and volume of traffic as well as whether there are a lot of turning movements and the costs range from approximately N$360 000 per km for a 6.7 single seal to N$1.3 million per km for a 35mm premix overlay.