Mozambique: Minister Confirms Defects in Sports Complex

Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Carlos Bonete, on Monday visited the sporting complex in the outer Maputo neighbourhood of Zimpeto, built for the 2011 African Games, and confirmed the poor quality of much of the building.

The alert was sounded to serious problems in the Zimpeto buildings in February, when an outer wall at the Olympic swimming pool collapsed, killing the coach of the national swimming team, Frederico dos Santos.

After this tragedy, the government ordered the Ministry of Public works to carry out a full inspection to assess the safety and conservation of the Zimpeto complex.

Bonete found a large number of irregularities, of which perhaps the worst was the water seeping into homes in the Olympic Village. The housing was originally built for athletes, but was then sold off – and now, only five years after they were built, some of these residential blocks are in what Bonete described as “a critical state”.

There are 800 flats in all, 200 of which have now been visited. In 15 the conditions were so bad that they posed a health risk to the families living there. The families have been evacuated while the flats are rehabilitated.

Rui Costa, chairperson of the government’s Housing Promotion Fund (FFH), said the families concerned will not have to make any mortgage payments while their flats are being repaired.

The problems arise from the poor quality of the materials used by the contractors. Apart from the 15 flats that must be completely rehabilitated, Costa said a 12 member FFH repair team has been constantly maintaining the residintial blocks, and has so far carried out about 200 interventions in the apartments.

Costa added that the 240 new apartments in the Olympic village are in good condition, and do not face the same plumbing problems as the initial flats.

Other problems in the Zimpeto complex include the fact that the waste water treatment station is not fully operational. Officials blame this on a defective electricity supply.

As for the main stadium itself, Bonete said there were no major structural problems. However, cracks had appeared, which he blamed on “the quality of the finishing work which should have been taken care of at the time”. There were also seepage problems in the plumbing, which needed repair.

The Minister said the contractors will be held responsible for the work that needs to be done.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique