Tawanda Musarurwa–Senior Business Reporter
Zimre Capital says it has secured funding to the tune of US$3 million for a bankable feasibility study for the proposed rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo and Bulawayo – Victoria Falls highways.
This comes as the Zimre Holdings subsidiary has partnered Khato Holdings on the project.
Khato Holdings are also acting as the project’s financial advisors.
Zimre Holdings chief executive Stanley Kudenga, said the ultimate direction of the project will be guided by the outcome of the feasibility study.
“The feasibility study is going to tell us whether we are going to do dualisation or we are just going to widen. The feasibility study will give us an indication of how much we will need to raise.
“For the feasibility on its own we are looking at about US$3 million, which has been secured,” said Mr Kudenga.
“As you can appreciate this is part of the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) network, and that means it will have to be done by COMESA standards, but it could be a question of widening and resurfacing.”
The Beitbridge-Bulawayo and Bulawayo – Victoria Falls highways provide a corridor that runs to the border with Zambia and South Africa.
The highway also links Zimbabwe to the trans — African Highway that runs from Cairo to Gaborone through to Pretoria, Kimberley.
Beitbridge is the busiest inland port in the region as it is the gateway to South Africa for most countries in the Sadc region.
South Africa firm, Khato Holdings secured the deal for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo and Bulawayo -Victoria Falls highways in a build, operate and transfer arrangement circa 2019.
Khato Holdings subsidiary, Khato Civils and South Zambezi joint venture are responsible for the rehabilitation of the significant highway.
A memorandum of agreement between Zimbabwe and the joint venture was signed in April 2019, and the letter of appointment coming in the same month.
Several feasibility studies have been carried out for the project, and the latest one is expected to be a bankable one that should result in commencement of works.
Besides the Beitbridge — Harare Highway, the Beitbridge — Bulawayo Highway is one of the busiest routes that need major rehabilitation.
Working with mainly local contractors, Government has started rehabilitation of the Beitbridge — Harare Highway and some stretches of the road have already been completed, facilitating smooth flow of traffic.