Zinara seeks $30m to buy new equipment

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) is seeking close to $30 million to purchase road construction equipment.

Transport minister Joram Gumbo said government will contribute $20 million while the roads administrator will chip in with $8,3 million.

“You will be aware that 60 percent of funds disbursed to road authorities are taken up by equipment hire. This initiative will therefore lead to more impact on the ground as road authorities will reduce their equipment hire bill and channel more funds to road maintenance,” he said at a media cocktail in Harare on Monday.

This comes at a time when the government has embarked on a roads rehabilitation programme as a way of jump-starting the country’s ailing economy.

Early this year, the government set aside over $232 million fund for the emergency road rehabilitation programme and hotspot rehabilitation that has seen various roads in urban and rural areas getting facelifts.

Most of the country’s roads had become impassable over the past two decades as government, which was constrained by meagre allocations to capital projects, was unable to rehabilitate the country’s road network.

A government-sponsored Visual Road Condition and Inventory Survey — which was bankrolled to the tune of $1,7 million by Zinara and was carried out in 2016/2017 by the country’s road authorities — indicated that more than $5,5 billion was needed to periodically maintain and rehabilitate the country’s roads to bring them to trafficable state.

The study indicated that of the country’s 98 000-kilometre road network — an increase of 10 000km over the past 18 years — 40 percent (39 000km) was in fair condition, while 17 percent (16 000km) was good and 8 percent (7 913km) was very good.

However, under the new government, Treasury-funded road construction projects have gone up by over 200 percent this year.

More than $150 million has been released for the reconstruction and or resealing of 504km of surfaced roads, with 1 100km of surfaced roads being premix pothole patched in the January to June period.

Also, during the first six months of the year, 18 600km of rural gravel roads were graded, 914km regravelled, 40 damaged bridges repaired, while 317 new culverts were constructed.

Mashonaland East provincial road engineer Jaravani Kangara recently indicated that the scale of the road rehabilitation projects, especially under the new dispensation, was unparalleled.

“This is unprecedented,” he said. “I have been provincial roads engineer for 10 years and I have never received this much money from Treasury.

“We have people who have been working in the Department of Roads since Rhodesia and they have not done this much road construction in a year”.

Road engineers say Zimbabwe’s transport network lags 18 years behind compared to other countries in the region like South Africa and recently Zambia.

This is despite Zimbabwe being a signatory to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol on Transport, Communications, and Meteorology (1996).

The agreement commits Sadc states to the reform of road sector institutions, in particular the separation of responsibilities for funding, implementation, and the commercialisation of road sector activities.

Comments (1)

I hope you will not buy snow graders again honourable minister.

Ndiani Ndiani - 25 July 2018

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.