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SIKHUPHE HOUSES CONTRACTOR DENIES E6M PAYMENT

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SITEKI – How much exactly did government spend to build the 15 staff houses at King Mswati III International Airport, which remain unoccupied?

This question comes from the fact that Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority (ESWACAA) and the contractor, Mar & Dar Swazi GRC, did not agree on the total cost of the houses. ESWACAA Acting Director General Jabulani Magagula claimed that the total cost was about E6 million as the contractor allegedly made them pay an import fee (freight and tax) of the material that was imported from Egypt, while the contractor claimed that it only received E4.2 million.

Concrete

Between 2015 and 2016, government constructed the 15 houses at King Mswati III (KM III) International Airport and the contractor was Mar & Dar Swazi GRC. The contractor used light weight cement, which is known as glass fibre reinforced concrete (GRC) to construct the houses. Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), who were led by their Chairman, Matsanjeni North MP Phila Buthelezi, toured the abandoned houses at the airport yesterday.  During the tour, ESWACAA Acting Director General Magagula claimed that the total cost was about E6 million as the contractor allegedly made them pay an import fee (freight and tax) of the material that was imported from Egypt. Magagula submitted that for land preparation, the contractor spent about E365 000 and E595 000 was added to the initial charge, because of the fluctuation of the United States of America’s (USA) Dollar.

On the other hand, Mar & Dar Swazi GRC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohamed Alraies claimed that the total cost of the project was E4.2milion. He confirmed that ESWACAA paid extra costs, which included freight and tax. However, he said when ESWACAA paid them; it allegedly deducted the extra costs. “I do not know the about E6 million they are talking about,” Alraies said.

However, the acting director general maintained that the total amount, according to their records, was about E6 million. Again, the PAC chairman raised a concern on why the about four-year-old houses were dilapidated as the contractor said their life span was over 50 years. Another concern that the PAC raised was that the contractor used internal doors for the main doors, instead of outside solid doors. The doors were already tattered.

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