Minister Charlette questioned on 2020 Development debacle |31 July 2019
The Minister for Habitat, Land, Infrastructure and Land Transport Pamela Charlette appeared before the National Assembly yesterday to answer questions pertaining to the Ile Soleil construction works being undertaken by 2020 Development (Seychelles) Ltd.
Leader of the opposition Wavel Ramkalawan brought the private notice question asking concerning several homes in Anse Aux Pins which were affected with the piling work for the development of Ile Soleil, a reclaimed land.
Piling is the process by which piles of timber, steel, or concrete are driven into the ground to support a structure which in the case of Ile Soleil was a bridge linking the Anse Aux Pins road to Ile Soleil.
2020 Development is a government-created company with the mandate to implement a range of infrastructure and property development projects chief among which are Ile Soleil, Ile Aurore and the Victoria Waterfront projects.
Minister Charlette explained that the company falls under the responsibility of the Public Enterprise Monitoring Commission (PEMC) by extension the Ministry of Finance.
While giving a timeline of the situation, Minister Charlette stated that 2020 Development started receiving complaints early in 2017 that houses close to the bridge had been impacted negatively with the construction of the bridge in October 2016.
Local construction company, UCPS, had been the contractor outsourced for this project.
The cracks and damages on these nearby houses were analysed and evaluated by independent contractors who came up with a report, which the Anse Aux Pins residents were not satisfied with.
Following meetings and a quantity survey on the households, 2020 Development later informed the complainants that they would need to submit a formal letter of complaint to the contractor, UCPS.
“According to their contract agreement, UCPS is responsible for any damages caused during construction and the 2020 Development Company continues to provide its support to these residents and is even paying some of their expenses for them to find a solution as soon as possible,” Minister Charlette highlighted.
One of the main issues with was brought by the members of the National Assembly such as Hon. Ramkalawan and Hon. Churchill Gill was that the residents should not have contacted UCPS but rather the developer, 2020 Development, since it was their project.
“2020 is the one undertaking all of these projects on Ile Soleil and the contractors and the consultants have their agreements with 2020. What does this have to do with these residents who are in a situation where the houses are cracked? 2020’s internal problem is one part and the company should take onto itself to address the people’s problems directly,” Hon. Gill stated.
In the end Minister Charlette agreed to enter discussions with the Minister for Finance in order to engage with 2020 Development to move ahead and find a solution to the situation as soon as possible.