Harare City Council has approved a supplementary budget of $3,8 million for some initial work that could help to combat traffic congestion.
The supplementary budget of $3,853 870 will target infrastructure improvement, enhancement of public transport logistics and enforcement.
Among other measures, Harare City Council has reintroduced dedicated bus lanes in the city centre in a move aimed at reducing traffic congestion mostly during peak hours by allowing buses to get to terminuses quickly without having to jam streets.
According to the recent council minutes, the city’s acting director of works, Engineer Norman Karidza said the budget was in response to Cabinet’s decision this year for the local authority to come up with solutions to decongest urban areas.
“The $3 744 475 will be used to upgrade road junctions and Amalinda Bridge, $40 800 installation of new traffic signals on the city roads and $68 595 for public lighting installations on city roads,” said the council.
According to the council’s weekly news updates, Eng Karidza reported that the programme was a nationwide exercise but Harare Metropolitan was to be the first priority as it was the most affected area.
He said the taskforce was requested to come up with solutions around three areas including infrastructure improvement, enhancement of public transport logistics and enforcement.
“The interventions are to be implemented and funded by each local authority. The local authorities were requested to fund the programme from their pockets as it was not part of the 2021 budget,” he said.
This comes as Cabinet has set up an inter-ministerial committee to tackle the congestion on many city roads following the economic upturn and to work out how street lighting can be put back in place.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo was tasked to chair the committee of ministers set up to recommend short, medium and long term solutions.