Zimbabwe commits US $1bn for road projects

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The government of Zimbabwe has committed US $1bn for road construction and rehabilitation across the country under the country’s 2019 Road Development Programme.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza announced the reports and said that the government aims at refurbishing existing roads and construct new roads which befit an upper middle income economy.

“As we embark on our 2030 vision, we must construct roads which befit that status. There is quite a lot of work going on some of the projects which have been pending for a while without work going on,” said Minister Joel Biggie Matiza.

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The Road Development Programme

Intermediated Money Transfer Tax and Zimbabwe National Road Administration Infrastructure Bond are funding the projects. 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.

The Road Development Programme, outlines that the road, rail and air sub-sectors are critical in rapid industrialization and agricultural advancement as they facilitate trade and movement of goods and people.

Mr. Mariza pointed out that the government will be upgrading 781km of Zimbabwe’s road network, re-gravelling 483km and constructing 22 bridges. 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.

The Transport Minister further said that tenders are being  being drawn up for consultants to come and assist road authorities to ensure that roads can last up to 20 years.

“We are introducing the project management programme in the ministry. Tenders are being prepared to get other consultants to come and assist provincial road engineers to make sure there is quality in the roads. We know we have challenges of manpower in some areas in terms of experience,” said Matiza.