The US$30 million water treatment plant construction agreement between Norton Town Council and Hydromart, a private firm has collapsed after the firm failed to get funding for the project.
The company was supposed to build a 200ML water treatment plant that would have serviced over 20 000 households.
The project was supposed to be completed in 18 months but according to the NTC Spokesperson, Engineer Gavara, the deal had to be cancelled in February.
Lack of Funding Scuppers Deal
“As late as February we had to cancel an agreement with Hydromart because of failure to secure the required funding”.
As a result of this, the spokesperson said, “Hydromart were in breach of contract in that they failed to break ground even after two further extensions.
“The indication is that they lacked the capacity to carry out this project”.
At the time of the agreement, local legislator Temba Mliswa expressed scepticism at the deal alleging that the company failed to fulfil its mandate in 2007 in a similar economic environment.
Mliswa Dismissed the Deal
“The company has been there, it left when they was inflation and has come back when there is inflation, so what guarantee do we have that they will finish?’
“It’s another shady deal marred with corruption, whilst NTC celebrates, were they really part of this deal and did they push for this deal?’
“It’s a company that has previously been given a chance and failed so it’s sad because its time-wasting, Norton should be exporting water to other towns by now”, he said.
Norton depends on Harare for its water supply but the arrangement has not been working as Harare struggle to provide the service.
Mr Gavara has previously said Norton had grown exponentially and thus required its own water plant since it is also struggling to service its water debts with City of Harare.
“We owe City of Harare big time because we use a lot of water and there is a huge variance between what we bill and what they supply us. Such has been the case for years”, he said.
Norton had a population of 60 000 people as of 2012 when the last census was done but with a growth factor of just above 4000 per annum it currently has about 80 000 people.
Currently, it receives 5ML of water per day from the City of Harare but its demand ranges between 25ML to 30ML which creates a huge deficit.