Defence Joins Construction Industry

DEFENCE industries company, August 26 Holdings, has entered the construction industry in a bid to solve some of the government’s infrastructural needs.

The August 26 Holdings subsidiary August Twenty Six UBM Construction aims to revolutionarise the construction industry with its non-conventional building material and methods, which are expected to be 40% cheaper than conventional building methods.

The company acquired equipment from the United States of America, India and South Korea, now utilising their Ultimate Building Machine, which is the name of the equipment or technology they used to build. The equipment can set up a building within days, by using mainly iron sheets on the outside of the building, which have a lifespan of about 50 years.

Defence Minister Nahas Angula yesterday launched the company, which is one of nine August 26 Holdings subsidiaries.

The company’s managing director Colonel John Namoloh, said the company was first established as an innovative way to solve the infrastructural needs of the Namibia Defence Force but the aim is now to become a major player in the Namibian construction industry.

Namoloh said the military was faced with accommodation shortages and that the ministry inherited aging buildings, barracks and infrastructure from the South African regime at independence.

The company’s first project will be building barracks for the Air Force, which will be followed by other military related projects. “We are ready to revamp all NDF barracks,” Namoloh said. Other government ministries have already shown an interest in using the company for speedy construction of buildings. The company is looking at building health, transport, agriculture and education infrastructure. It is also looking at building facilities for the police and prison services.

The UBM technology is able to build a classroom within a day, Namoloh said.

Local government Minister Charles Namoloh, who was defence minister when the project was initiated, said his ministry’s mass housing scheme will also consider making use of the NDF company in its quest to provide affordable housing to the poor.

The Ministry of Defence-owned company has been growing its empire of the years. August 26 Holdings now has interests in the manufacturing of war machines, textiles and uniforms, satellite and telecommunications, catering and logistics, insurance and now construction.

Source : The Namibian