Waterworld workers left high and dry waiting for outstanding pay

Full salaries owed to sub-contractors and general workers at the Waterworld reconstruction project are yet to be paid out.

During the week of February 9, workers claimed they had received 15% of the money owed to them, despite not having been paid since November last year.

Work at the site is still on hold and local councillors said infrastructure at the site was now unprotected, and vulnerable to vandalism and theft.

One general worker, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We need money for food, we did not pay our rent, bonds, and car finance for the months of November, December and January, and now it’s the end of February.

“We have no money for school fees, uniforms, books and lunch for kids and neither are we able to meet our daily needs without an income.”

When questioned about the decision to pay out 15% to sub-contractors and general workers, main contractor Mvusuludzo Projects representative Albert Mulaudzi said: “The engineer values work executed on site irrespective of whether it’s executed by the main contractor or subcontractor.

“In this regard, it is the engineer that determines the amounts certifiable and payable in terms of the General Conditions Contract [GCC].

“Mvusuludzo empathises with its subcontractors and workers. The current status quo stems from the Buffalo City Metropolitan Development Agency’s breach of the payment provisions, which has a ripple effect on subcontractors and workers.

“Mvusuludzo can only enforce the contract in an effort to assist subcontractors and workers.

“To this end, Mvusuludzo has suspended the works to compel the agency to pay all outstanding amounts, while also securing additional funding for the completion of the works, which were under-measured.”

Mvusuludzo Projects said BCMDA had so far issued an interim payment certificate (IPC) for arrears for December, however, this had not yet been cleared.

In addition, no IPC was issued for January, leaving Mvusuludzo with no option but to suspend work on site.

“Waterworld is 99% complete. The current suspension of work due to non- payment puts the work at risk of theft, vandalism and neglect.

“This is a contractual breach.

“Should the breach not be remedied, Mvusuludzo will exercise its rights in terms of the agreement to either refer the matter to alternative dispute resolution and/or terminate the agreement.

“The agency is therefore the party best positioned to confirm when the interim payments will be issued, entitling Mvusuludzo to go back to site.”

Mulaudzi said the Waterworld project could also be compromised as external plumbing and drainage systems had not yet been finalised by the agency.

This work fell outside of Mvusuludzo’s scope.

OWED PAY: Unhappy workers striking at Waterworld in West Bank. Picture: SUPPLIED


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