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$2bn for roads rehabilitation

by Staff reporter
14 Jun 2021 at 06:19hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has disbursed more than $2 billion to road authorities for the national emergency road rehabilitation programme.

The disbursements were made between January and last Friday.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development's Departments of Roads was allocated $467,7 million, District Development Fund $826, 2 million, urban councils $443 million and rural district councils $293 million.

Bulawayo City Council was allocated $35 million, Matabeleland North Road authorities were allocated approximately $265 million, Matabeleland South $139 million, Midlands $211 million and Masvingo $178 million.

Harare received $44 million, Manicaland was allocated $173 million, Mashonaland Central $202 million, Mashonaland East $337 million and Mashonaland West got $327 million.

The Bulawayo City Council is on record saying that 70 percent of its road network has outlived its lifespan.

The authority requires about US$700 million to fix the roads.

According to a recent council report, the local authority, while awaiting the release of the funds by Treasury, identified the roads that are set to be rehabilitated under the Government-funded facility.

Major roads due to be rehabilitated under the facility include Fife Street (Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue to 23rd Avenue, 4,1 kilometres), Luveve Roadarterial (Lobengula Street to Nguboyenja Avenue, 2,1 kilometres), Luveve Road -arterial (Nguboyenja to Siyephambili drive, 4,7 kilometres), Waverly Road (Sixth Avenue Extension to Khami Road, 1,7 kilometres), Matopos Road (23rd Avenue to Leander Avenue, 2,5 kilometres) and Matopos Road (Leander Avenue to City boundary, 2,9 kilometres).

Others include; Nketa Drive-major collector (Hyde Road to Emadibheni Road 2,1 kilometres), Nketa Drive-major collector (Hyde Park Road to Khami Road 1,1 kilometres), Coghlan Avenue (George Avenue and Cecil Avenue, 2,8 kilometres), George Avenue (Gwanda Road to Harare Road, 2,4 kilometres), Dundee Drive (Plumtree Road to Matopos, 2,9 kilometres), Cowdray Corridor (Railway line to Cowdray Park service station, 2,9 kilometres), Doncaster Road (Bristol Rd South to 23rd Avenue. 1,09 kilometres) and Josiah Chinamano 14th Avenue to Halifax Road, 2,9 kilometres.

In a statement yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said road rehabilitation programmes are a priority in Government following two decades of neglect with most of the roads having outlived their life span.

He said by launching the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP 2), President Mnangagwa was committed towards transforming the country's road network.

He said institutions such as Zinara have to fulfil their mandate of collecting and releasing funds for road rehabilitation programmes.

"Our flagship being implemented under the Second Republic is the refurbishment of the Harare-Beitbridge highway. We are refurbishing the road using local resources and so far, more than 200km have been opened for traffic and other stretches are going to be opened soon. I therefore, encourage Zinara to continue mobilising funds for capital projects of this nature in line with Vision 2030. It is no longer business as usual and as the Government we commend Zinara efforts in their rebranding efforts and starting on an innovative journey as they come up with smart ways of collecting road user fees for sustainable road development," he said.

Minister Mhona said under the ERRP 2, 840km of road across the country will be rehabilitated and reconstructed while 8 340km will be regravelled with 17 093km set to be regraded this year.

He said Government will reseal 1 290km of road, reconstruct 427 drainage structures and work on 24 830km of erosion works and drains across the country.

"As of 4 June 2021, the programme had seen 23,6km rehabilitated and 12km resealed, 421km have been re-gravelled while 2947km have been graded. Sixty-three drainage structures have been constructed or repaired across road authorities and 27 wash aways reclaimed," he said.

"A total length of 1 232km of drains has been attended and 2344km of verge clearing has been achieved. Potholes have been patched on a cumulative 739,6km. The work achieved so far under ERRP is pleasing and Government is determined to deliver a world-class road network by 2030."

Acting Zinara board chairperson Ms Lizwe Bunu said Zinara is on a rebranding drive after a 2018 audit report raised the red flag over its operations as the parastatal did not follow good corporate governance.

"Going forward, we are building a professional Zinara with a robust system that respects good corporate governance. As part of the new culture at Zinara, we are going to be publishing all disbursements to road authorities at regular intervals. Zinara is collecting public funds and as such we believe that it must be accountable to the same public by the way of publishing how it is disbursing the collected road user fees.

This is a process that will culminate in a transparent and improved road fund that contributes towards sustainable road rehabilitation. In terms of disbursements, I am pleased to announce that Zinara is now collecting efficiently and thus well-funded and able to disburse on time once all the necessary requests and acquittals are received from road authorities," said Ms Bunu.

Source - chronicle
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