Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
THE Government has availed an initial $19 million under the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) in Bulawayo as the facility gathers pace in the city.
The $19 million is part of the $625 million that was approved for the city, with the Bulawayo City Council saying the availed money was being used for the procurement of materials to produce cold mix, hot mix, road line paint and to cover batching fees for pothole patching and overlay works.
“Under the ERRP2 programme, Zinara disbursed the $19 565 589 as advance payment for phase 1 and 2 work combined. The final approved total allocation for the ERRP2 is $625 464 000. The advance funds were being used in the procurement of materials to produce cold mix, hot mix, road line paint and to cover batching fees for pothole patching and overlay works using council’s in-house teams,” reads a council report.
To date, the local authority reported that they had started working on seven major projects under the facility, which were in various levels of completion.
These projects include, for pothole patching; Fife Street, from Masotsha Ndlovu to 15th Avenue (patching complete), Doncaster Road from 15thAvenue to 23rd Avenue (patching complete), Fourth Avenue, Samuel Parirenyatwa to Lobengula Street (patching on-going), Eighth Avenue, Samuel Parirenyatwa to Hebert Chitepo (patching on-going) and Coghlan Avenue, George Avenue to Cecil Avenue (patching complete).
For overlays there are two projects being undertaken; the 2,7 kilometre stretch of Fife Street from Masotsha Ndlovu to 15th Avenue where council reportedly did 300 metres before the project was taken over by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and the 1,1 kilometre stretch of Doncaster Road from 15th Avenue to 23rd Avenue where the overlay works are ongoing according to the local authority.
“Danger warning and regulatory signs were installed along Cecil Avenue in Morningside and Regulatory signs were installed in vicinity of Carmel School and Parkview. Procurement of signage materials was ongoing. Pre marking was done on Nketa Drive from Khami Road to Birkenhead. Procurement of road line marking paint was still in progress,” reads the report.
During a tour of some of the projects last month, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Cde July Moyo emphasised the need to ensure the quality of the rehabilitation works noting that in the past they had noted that such works were sub-standard resulting in the roads being damaged within a year of their restoration.
“Long back we used to ensure that local authorities have consulting engineers who they work with, these consulting engineers were tasked with giving second independent technical opinion on such projects, which was essential in quality control.
“These consulting engineers were essential not only for the road infrastructure but also in terms of water delivery.
However, seeing that for whatever reasons councils abandoned these consulting engineers we have to work with what we have to ensure quality control, in this case all the roads’ authorities in this exercise must work together in monitoring these contractors,” said Minister Moyo.
Early this year, President Mnangagwa revealed that the Government has set aside $33,6 billion for the Second Phase of the ERRP across the country.
This was after Government in February declared the country’s road network a state of disaster as most of the roads have become un-trafficable following damage by heavy rains that were received across the country and poor maintenance by local authorities.