BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
TREASURY has announced plans to raise $18 billion in the second half of this year for infrastructure development, notwithstanding the COVID-19 impact on cashflow.
“The 2020 budget targeted to raise $25 billion for infrastructure development. As at end of July 2020, $6,6 billion had been invested and the remainder of $18 billion would be raised and injected during the last half of 2020. Priority projects are continuing — the construction of Hwange 7 & 8 expansion project together with rehabilitation of other thermal power stations, Harare-Beitbridge Highway rehabilitation and expansion as well as other roads, expansion of RGM [Robert Gabriel Mugabe International] Airport and construction of the new Parliament building,” Treasury said in a report released last week.
Treasury has ring-fenced resources towards these projects, critical for enabling the doing business environment, and also has to provide social safety nets for citizens at a time half of the country’s population is food insecure.
The Hwange 7&8 expansion (600MW) is 45% complete with the Harare-Beitbridge Highway expansion underway. There are five contractors on the ground targeting to complete 200km this year. To date, over $600 million has been disbursed towards the project.
On dam construction, five dams are being prioritised this year, which are Marovanyati, Causeway, Chivhu, Gwai-Shangani and Sengwa.