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Local labour for Bulawayo roads rehab

by Staff reporter
26 Oct 2021 at 06:40hrs | Views
BULAWAYO roads are undergoing a major facelift after Government and the Bulawayo City Council yesterday started a citywide road rehabilitation programme to improve the city's road network.

The programme will run up to the end of the year and some roads will be partially closed during the exercise.

The road works are being done under President Mnangagwa's Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP 2), which he launched earlier this year.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) are funding the programme.

A Chronicle news crew yesterday observed some of the rehabilitation works along Old Khami Road and Hyde Park Road.

The works included pothole patching and road markings.

Locals are expected to provide labour in their respective areas.

Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube urged motorists to exercise caution during the road works.

"The motoring public is hereby notified of the ongoing road rehabilitation works within the city in a bid to improve the state of the road network. The works will involve re-surfacing works over existing surfaced roads, reinstating of road markings and other general maintenance works. The works will resume on the 25th of October and are expected to be completed by the 31st of December 2021. Once completed these works will prolong the life of the carriageway, improve road safety and ride quality," said Mr Dube.

"The works will be carried out on a number of roads within the city's road network. To ensure the safety of both the motoring public and workforce whilst carrying out the works, the following traffic management system will be in place: full carriageway closure of sections with traffic being diverted accordingly; and lane closures where necessary.

The motoring public should exercise extreme caution when approaching these works."

Bulawayo Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Paul Nyoni said Government has subcontracted several companies to do the works and most of them were already mobilising resources.

"They will be on the ground anytime from now," he said.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube commended Government for chipping in to assist the local authority.

"It came at the right time because local authorities are struggling financially. This partnership with Central Government will ease the burden for local authorities," said Clr Ncube.

He said council has come up with measures to ensure locals are employed to provide labour.

"Our policy is that when there is a community project being implemented, the contractor or person given the job should employ a community liaison officer to be a link between the community and project contractor before moving onto the site.

"Through these community liaison officers, we expect contractors to employ locals. Yes, in the past we have had concerns that some of the contractors are not employing locals but those we have engaged have started employing locals," he said.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu welcomed the roadworks.

"This is a welcome development, especially looking at the state of roads in the city as we approach the rainy season. If there is no action taken now, the state of the roads will worsen. We are happy that council is working with Central

Government to improve the infrastructure in the city which was not the case in the past. This partnership between Central Government and our council is giving us results and should therefore be encouraged," said Mr Ndlovu.

He said it was the residents' expectations that locals will be employed to provide general labour.

"When the road rehabilitation exercise started, especially when companies that are not from here were contracted to rehabilitate the roads, residents expressed concern that people that were working on the roads were unknown.

"There was no mechanism to include locals so we are hoping that this time around locals will be employed, especially to provide general labour which is technical. We also have qualified people who could also be engaged as skilled labour," he said.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube three months ago also urged companies contracted to rehabilitate Siyephambili Drive to employ locals.

She said the locals engaged should include women that she said are the backbone of most families.

Source - The Chronicle
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