‘Give us a piece of the $2bn cake’

Source: ‘Give us a piece of the $2bn cake’ | The Herald July 13, 2016

LOCAL firms must be awarded a fair share of the contracts to supply locally available material required for the $2 billion dualisation of the Beitbridge to Chirundu highway, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has said. This comes as Government said it needs about $6 billion to work on 100 000km of road network in the country.“CZI through the standing committee on Infrastructure has started engaging Government over the construction of the Beitbridge to Chirundu road,” Zimbawe’s biggest industrial manufacturing lobby group said.

CZI said with the tender for the dualisation project awarded, it wants to ensure that all raw material requirements for the project that can be manufactured locally are supplied by local manufacturing companies.

In the past, CZI said, jobs meant to be given to local companies to promote local productivity have been given to local traders who in turn imported the products at the expense of local manufacturing companies.

CZI would want Government to put in place measures that ensure that when supplies are meant to come from local companies, there should be the manufacturers and not traders,” the industrial lobby group added.

Dualisation of Zimbabwe’s most important and busiest trunk road linking Zimbabwe’s southern neighbour, South Africa and the rest of the continent to the north is critical for both internal and external trade.

Austrian firm Geiger International is reportedly Government’s partner in the $2 billion dualisation and rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge road. President Mugabe recently confirmed a partner had been secured.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Engineer Michael Madanha said without a good road, rail and air network it would be impossible for the Zimbabwe to achieve its strategic economic goals.

He said an efficient transport and road network has capacity to revive the economy by reducing operating costs.

“We need about $6 billion to work on our 100 000 km of road of road network in the country. It will be impossible for Zimbabwe to achieve its strategic goals without a good road, rail and air network.

“Good roads will result in low transportation costs and low transportation

costs usually lead to reduced price of goods. It will also lead to reduced price of services

to the general public to the consumer,” he said.

Engineer Madanha said the private sector has not been forthcoming on partnering Government on road rehabilitation projects. He said the private sector should partner Government as this assures them good returns.

Engineer Madanha added that there is need for the urgent implementation of strategies already laid out to improve the country’s doing business environment, negatively impacted on by the poor state of the roads.