Local authorities  'lack road  infrastructure'

A REPORT by the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) reveals that very few local authorities have adequate road infrastructure.

The report based on service delivery benchmarking stated that only 21,2 percent of roads in the 32 urban councils were in good condition.

Ucaz emphasised the need for more resources to be channelled towards roads maintenance if the roads are to be trafficable.

“Coverage of road network stands at 63,1 percent. This indicates that there are settlements with no road infrastructure. Sealing of roads is at 52 percent across councils and 21,2 percent of sealed roads are in good condition,” read part of the report.
The report also indicated that routine maintenance on the roads was at 61 percent as some areas hardly repaired their roads.

Ucaz also noted that only 10 percent of the roads in urban councils have carriageway markings even after repairs and maintenance works have been conducted.
“16,9 percent of roads have controlled intersections, while coverage of public lights is on average five percent across local authorities.

Last year, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government observed that there is a dilemma where disbursements of funds from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration were concerned. 

The committee after touring Zinara-funded road works said local authorities were of the view that the bulk of the funds allocated should be disbursed at once and at the beginning of the year to enable them to do the works on time and to pay contractors. 

“Zinara explained that they disburse the funds depending on what has been collected from tollgates, vehicle licence and other sources. The Committee noted the need for Zinara to come up with a system, a procedure and time frame for payment of IPCs.

The Committee observed that contractors would have used their own resources to do the works and to wait for months again after the certificate has been issued was not fair.”

“The Committee noted that late payments are not only affecting the contractors but the local authorities themselves because some contractors are now leaving sites without completing the works and the unfinished works are being washed away by rains,” read part of the committee’s observations.