800 people employed at Mbudzi Interchange

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

800 people employed at Mbudzi Interchange
 Last week, legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development toured the interchange, which is now 64 percent complete and appreciated the work done so far by contractors at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze, Chitungwiza and High Glen Roads.

Freeman Razemba-Senior Reporter

A least 800 people from the surrounding community have so far been employed at the US$88 million Mbudzi Interchange in southern Harare, after being trained as semi-skilled workers for the project.

The project has created direct employment for several people and downstream activities for thousands of others, while creating skills transfer and upgrade for the Department of Roads staff.

Last week, legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development toured the interchange, which is now 64 percent complete and appreciated the work done so far by contractors at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze, Chitungwiza and High Glen Roads.

Short-term funding for the project was arranged through local financial institutions, while Tensor Systems, Fossil Contracting and Masimba Construction formed the Tefoma Construction consortium to build the interchange, the most ambitious and complex piece of road engineering in the country.

The Government has so far injected US$45 million towards the project which is set for completion by the end of July.

In a statement, the committee said during the visit, they heard oral evidence from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development regarding the project’s progress and challenges.

“The Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development conducted a site visit and tour of the Mbudzi Interchange, which is currently under construction. Following the visit, the committee heard oral evidence from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development regarding the project’s progress and challenges.

“Notably, some households were displaced to make way for the project, and affected individuals received compensation. As part of their corporate social responsibility, the project employed and trained some vendors and community members as semi-skilled and skilled workers.”

In an interview during the tour last week, the committee chairperson, Cde Knowledge Kaitano, said: “There is so much progress here and we are excited to see the developments. When we were last here two months ago, we were wondering what was going on, but now we can see everything is now taking shape. We can see where we are coming from and where we are going.”

“What we have witnessed today is what has been called by many as EDWorks. We have been told that at the Mbudzi interchange alone, 800 people have been employed, some who were not skilled, at all but now are skilled or semi-skilled. If we look at the number of Zimbabweans being employed in road construction alone, let alone in industries and other sectors of the economy, it is a confirmation that indeed the Second Republic is hard at work, reducing the level of formal unemployment in Zimbabwe.”

He said road construction in the country is also acting as Government capital injection into the economy, thereby helping in increasing the national income, further enhancing the fulfilment of Vision 2030 where Zimbabwe aims to be an upper middle income economy by 2030.

“We therefore salute the continued Government Expenditure into the economy which has evidently accelerated economic activity in the country.”

Resident Engineer Emmanuel Dube said work was progressing very well and was now at 64 percent.

So far the Government has also compensated 42 out of 52 property owners at a cost of about US$14,8 million and only US$14,9 million is outstanding.

On the other hand, 95 families that were affected are being relocated to Hatcliffe, where houses will be built for them.

The old Mbudzi roundabout had been a major vehicle traffic choke-point in southern Harare before the Government committed resources to turn it into an interchange, as the Second Republic continues to upgrade infrastructure to cope with modern demands and trends.

Some of the benefits of the project include the decongestion of the Mbudzi area by creating streamlined and efficient traffic flow and reducing transit time and accidents in the area.

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