Zimbabwe has begun the rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway after the government allocated US $1bn to finance the project. This comes at a time when there have been incessant calls to expedite the rehabilitation of the road, which links Zimbabwe with its trading partner, South Africa, so as to reduce road carnage.
Five companies, Tensor Systems, Fossil Contracting, Masimba Construction, Exodus and Company, and Bitumen World, will be executing the project with each rehabilitating 20km stretches along the highway.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year and increase significantly economic benefits for the South African country through the envisioned speedy movement of human traffic and cargo.
Development of the Project
To this point the contractors have already mobilized their resources and set up their operation bases in preparation for the actual work. Masimba Construction, for instance, has set up its base near Gokomere Mission, while Exodus and Company is camped near Maringire Business Centre in Chivi.
While assessing the project’s development, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said that he is happy and satisfied with the progress made so far. “The work is progressing well and going according to plan and we are satisfied with the mobilization and setting up for the start of the program,” said Minister Matiza. He at the same time revealed that Masimba Construction has already done detours of about 8km.
The project’s budget
Minister Matiza said that the government budgeted US $1bn for the project and on top of that it has ring-fenced some fuel levy that is going to be given to the project on a monthly basis. “We are looking at between US $40m and US $50m monthly from fuel levy and that would suffice to fund the companies so that they are able to continue with the project.”
He also mentioned that the fuel levy would take care of inflationary headwinds, and also hinted the Government’s readiness to continuously review the financial package.