Govt needs $5bn for roads rehab

Source: Govt needs $5bn for roads rehab | The Herald June 22, 2016

Tendai Mugabe and Samantha Chigogo
Government requires $5 billion for the refurbishment of the country’s road network, Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Michael Madanha has said. The stretch covers over 88 000 kilometres.

The figure which is way above the 2016 national budget which stood at just over $4 billion, is expected to come from Treasury, development partners through Public Private Partnerships and Build Operate and Transfer arrangements.

Officiating at the inaugural infrastructure development conference in Harare yesterday Engineer Madanha said road infrastructure is key to the successful implementation of Zim-Asset.

The infrastructure conference was organised by Zinara and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair as a precursor to the main conference that will run concurrently with MineEntra in Bulawayo next month.

Said Eng Madanha: “Our roads now require periodic maintenance as they are past their lifespan. They now need total rehabilitation that requires new capital.

“Projects under the Zim-Asset blueprint, if they are to be realised, require an estimated total of $5 billion and will be partly financed through the treasury and also by development partners and the private sector through Public Private Partnerships.”

Eng Madanha said the country’s infrastructure had built up a maintenance backlog of close to 20 years.

He thus urged local construction companies to exploit investment opportunities in the road development sector where most tenders were being awarded to foreign companies.

“Sometimes it pains us, we recently rehabilitated the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare road and Zinara had to partner with a foreign company, but we have potential companies within us and here is an investment opportunity,” Eng Madanha said.

“We should acknowledge and realise that we as Zimbabweans can spearhead this noble idea which will result in employment creation.”

Zinara board chairperson Mr Albert Mugabe said the parastatal expects to raise $200 million in toll fee collections which is well below the required $5 billion.

He said complete overhaul of the road infrastructure is only feasible if various stakeholders work together using the available resources.

“Our road network has an estimated requirement of over $5billion to make it safe, trafficable and efficient and Zinara this year is hoping to collect $200 million in revenue,” he said.

“Given those statistics are we as Zinara relevant, can we attain the purpose in which we were created? We, however, believe we can attain that purpose, we need a plan and a methodology of execution. There is no money but resources are there so we must use what we have to make what we need.”

Forit Contractors director Mr Itayi Madziyire said local companies have the capacity to build the required infrastructure without the involvement of foreigners.

He said foreign contractors repatriate most of their profits to their mother countries.

His remarks come in the wake of reports that Government has awarded the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway project to two foreign companies Geiger International and China Habour Engineering Company Limited.

COMMENTS

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  • comment-avatar
    Jono Austin 6 years ago

    A 20 year backlog! I think that’s conservative. And they will raise money by tolls everywhere. Where were tolls in the past-no where, people will remember. It begs the question-where does your tax go? You get nothing for your tax paid, and Mugabe and his mates get richer. And people still vote for this criminal cabal. How stupid are Zimbabweans?

  • comment-avatar

    Get the money stolen from toll gate charges.
    Get money stolen by Chinese diamond miners.
    Get money stolen by members of the Government.
    We will have new roads every where and the hospitals and medical supplies will help the sick and there will be food and education for everyone and decent pensions for the people who have built the country .