$200m Zim roads project complete by Dec: Group 5

HARARE - South African construction company Group Five International (Group 5) says it expects to complete the $200 million road rehabilitation project in Zimbabwe by December this year.

The group told Zimbabwe’s Parliament that it had so far completed about 200km of the road between Plumtree and Shangani.

“We are targeting to have completed the whole 828km stretch by mid-December this year,” said Ham Coetzee, an executive director with Group 5.

This comes as the project, which began in 2012 and is expected to see the road from Plumtree to Mutare — via Bulawayo and Harare — being widened to create a shoulder with a yellow lane, has been facing various challenges.

At one point, construction was temporarily halted after the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) delayed release of funding under a $200 million loan secured by Infralink to finance the project. The reconstruction of the highways is part of government’s initiative to upgrade the country’s road network, which has gone for more than a decade without maintenance.

Coetzee said Group 5 had employed more than 2 000 people in Zimbabwe with at least $100 million benefiting local contractors and suppliers. The project involves 220 local suppliers and 22 sub-contractors. Coetzee said his company was not making huge profits from the projects but was only targeting a long-term relationship with Zimbabwe.

“We are not making any money here. Our intention from the beginning was very clear, we came here as a partner to government,” he said. “We are not here to rap the nation but to contribute to the welfare and building wealth in Africa,” he added.

Economic experts say the economic recession Zimbabwe experienced between 1999 and 2009 reduced government’s budget for infrastructure projects, thereby accelerating the deterioration in the state of the country’s infrastructure. Frost & Sullivan recently said it would take several years and at least $15 billion to bring Zimbabwe’s basic infrastructure back to an acceptable level.

“The country faced a shortfall in its attempt to inject $430 million into infrastructure projects last year, further emphasising the fact that the country would not be able to develop sufficient infrastructure without external support,” the research said.

It said government needs to partner with external funders to secure financial assistance for projects.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.