THE Government has started rehabilitation of the 113-kilometre Lutumba-Tshikwalakwala Road, which connect the border town of Beitbridge and Chiredzi district.
The road has not been serviced for over a decade and is among some of the high-priority infrastructure development projects being rolled out by the New Dispensation.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has since contracted a local company, Glen Wonder Enterprises, to do the civil works and they are already on site carrying out motorised grading.
The company’s managing director, Mr Petros Tshuma, said they have covered 25 km between Lutumba (Ward 5) and Fula area (Ward3).
He said they expected to complete the project in the next three months.
“We are already on the ground carrying out motorised grading and so far we have covered 25km,” said Mr Tshuma.
“Our aim is to carry out motorised grading to make the road traversable first and this will be followed by bush clearance on the servitude of the road.
“After which, we will then move to the construction of other related infrastructure including repairing broken bridges and culverts”
He said the project will also create a number of jobs for those communities living closer to the road.
Mr Tshuma said most of these will be hired during the construction of structures, and that some of the infrastructures will help improve the drainage systems along the road.
The Lutumba-Tshikwalakwala Road cuts across Beitbridge East Constituency and services nine business centres in the district, including Beitbridge Colliery Mine, two clinics, and Tshituripasi Police Station. Beitbridge East Member of Parliament Cde Albert Nguluvhe said the poor state of the road had resulted in perennial transport woes for the communities in his area.
“We are grateful to the President (Mnangagwa), who has been pushing for the completion of many outstanding infrastructural development projects, and we are one of the constituencies benefiting from such a noble initiative,” he said.
“It is our hope that in the long term this road gets surfaced (tarred) to enhance the rural development and modernisation program.
We are happy with the progress on the ground so far and we hope that its condition will improve in the next few weeks”.
Cde Nguluvhe said they were hopeful that upon the project’s completion, public transporters like Zupco will start servicing routes between Lutumba and Tshikwalakwala, and Chiredzi.
He added that some horticultural farmers living along the road have been facing challenges ferrying their produce to Beitbridge Town.
Two major irrigation schemes Tshikwalakwala and Tshamaswiswi and six wards with a population of over 50 000 people also depend on the road.
“Crucially, the area lies within the Greater Limpopo Trans-frontier Conservation Area, which covers parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.