Work to refurbish the exterior of the Palais de Justice building is expected to start soon under an agreement signed between Seychelles and China on Tuesday.
Palais de Justice was opened in June 2013 through a $6 million project funded by China and built in partnership with the government of Seychelles. The building houses the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of the Seychelles, with a total of 10 courtrooms.
Eight years after its official opening, the building is in need of a facelift as decorative columns have visible cracks and holes, and in certain areas plastering applied to the exterior is coming off. Due to pigeon infestations in the past and the passage of time, the walls also need to be painted.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Supreme Court on Tuesday by the Principal Secretary of Infrastructure, Yves Choppy, the Chief Justice, Rony Govinden and the resident director and chief representative of the contracted company – Sinohydro construction Company – Lui Hongde.
An MoU was signed between Seychelles and China at the Supreme Court. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
To be funded by Powerchina, the parent company of Sinohydro, the project will see renovation work carried out on the building’s exterior to fix damaged surfaces. The Palais de Justice, located at Ile du Port, will also receive a fresh coat of paint as outlined in the MoU.
“The project is one of the outcomes of the friendly and successful visit of the State Councillor, Wang Yong, of the People’s Republic of China to Seychelles in December 2019. Sinohydro is honoured to perform corporate social responsibility and make a contribution to Seychelles,” said Hongde.
The project, which costs around SCR3 million ($204,000), is expected to be completed in four months. Choppy outlined that this includes the time needed to import material from the donor country.
He also explained that before work on the building can start, a joint management committee needs to be set up consisting of representatives from the contractor, the department of infrastructure and the judiciary.
“On the committee, we will discuss how work will be carried out so as to have as little impact on the function of the court as well as ensure that it doesn’t pose any danger to people who come to the building. The joint project committee will discuss all the implementation aspects so that we can have a good plan on how to carry out the different work needed in different areas,” he explained.
Choppy said that the interior side of the building needs more routine maintenance which is being discussed with the judiciary, “however at the moment we do not have any major project in regards to this as conditions are still satisfactory as compared to the exterior.”