Zimbabwe commits over $1 billion towards road projects

Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza. Photo: Youtube.

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Zimbabwean Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, recently disclosed that the government has committed over $1 billion for road construction and rehabilitation, the Herald reported.

According to the 2019 Infrastructure Plan released by Treasury last year, the rehabilitation of the roads through private-public-partnerships has been difficult, hence the switch to seek financing from the domestic market.

Funding for this flagship project, which is the biggest road project in 20 years, is being mobilised from the two percent Intermediated Money Transfer Tax as well as the Zimbabwe National Road Administration Infrastructure Bond, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration pursues its development trajectory.

“As we embark on our 2030 vision, which aims to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy, we must construct roads which befit that status,” said Matiza.

“There is quite a lot of work going on some of the projects which have been pending for a while without work going on. We are coming of a recessionary situation. Our roads need to be revamped to a situation where we have a national standard or even SADC standards of roads so that we are able to ply there and do our economic deliverables easily.”

The road dualisation programme for State roads and upgrading of gravel roads is in line with Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme, which outlines that “the road, rail and air sub-sectors are critical in rapid industrialisation and agricultural advancement as they facilitate trade and movement of goods and people, hence, the need to rehabilitate and upgrade the current stock of assets”.

The TSP document further states that the comprehensive Roads Development Programme, with support from the fiscus, is targeting upgrades from gravel to bituminous surfacing at an average cost of US$500 000 per kilometre. The target is to complete 20km for each gravel road every year until completion.

Through the fiscus, over US$250 million has been released for roadworks.

Minister Matiza said the roads should be done properly and there is need for quality control as Government was not interested in “seeing just black tar”.

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