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75% of Bulawayo roads in bad state

by Staff reporter
28 Mar 2021 at 06:45hrs | Views
AT least 75 percent of Bulawayo's road network has outlived its lifespan, with council revealing that the funds they received from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) was a mere drop in the ocean compared to the money they actually required.

The local authority last week revealed that it requires US$700 million to bring the road network to a good condition.

The Government recently declared the country's road network a state of disaster as most of the roads have become untrafficable following damage by heavy rains being received across the country.

The declaration is expected to trigger mobilisation and the release of funds to attend to the damaged roads.

Responding to questions from Sunday News, council corporate communications manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu revealed that to date they had received $15 436 055 from Government through Zinara, for the first quarter which was being used for routine maintenance.

"More than 75 percent of the road network in Bulawayo has outlived its lifespan. The 2021 Zinara allocation is $157 million of which we have just received $15 436 055 for the first quarter for routine maintenance that is pothole patching.

The disbursed funds were expected to procure approximately 400 tonnes of premix which will be utilised within six to seven weeks. The disbursements are quarterly for routine maintenance while for periodic maintenance, that is overlay, reconstruction works, they are paid after the work has been carried out," said Mrs Mpofu.

In 2020 the local authority's last disbursement was $10 million for the last quarter which was received on 6 October and used for the procurement of pothole patching and premix overlay materials.

"The City of Bulawayo needs approximately US$700 million to bring the road network to a good condition. To increase roads to good or better condition by 15 percent (360 kilometres) in the next five years, a minimum level of investment of US$15 million per annum is required.

"The main source of funding for road infrastructure has traditionally been Government allocation through Zinara and revenue accruing to council. Year on year, budget allocations have compared unfavourably with funding considered inadequate to maintain road network. As a result, the road network has continued to deteriorate due to the gap between maintenance requirements and funding," said Mrs Mpofu.

She said for this year targeted roads capital projects include the reconstruction and resealing of Masiyephambili Drive between Luveve Road and Falls Road (6,5 kilometres) and Matopos Road between 23rd Avenue to the Bulawayo Boundary (5,4 kilometres).

On road overlays the local authority is targeting, Old Esigodini Road (2,2 kilometres), 4th Avenue: Robert Mugabe Way to Joshua Nkomo Street (0,6 kilometres) and 8th Avenue Robert Mugabe Way to Jason Moyo Street (0,4 kilometres).

Mrs Mpofu said council would be surfacing reconstructed roads along Nkulumane Roads (0,5 kilometres), Maduna Road (1,7 kilometres), Luveve Roads (1,05 kilometres), Murchison Road – (2,076 kilometres) and Anthony T Steel Works – Khami Road between Hebert Chitepo and Nketa Drive.

"We also plan on attending to the following using borrowing powers; Fife Street Overlays and Street light upgrade from Masotsha to 23rd Avenue (four kilometres), Luveve Road Overlay from Lobengula Street to Nguboyenja Avenue (2,1 kilometres), Luveve Road reseal from Nguboyenja Ave to Siyephambili Drive, Coghlan Avenue Overlay works from George Avenue to Cecil Avenue (2,8 kilometres), Njube Main Road Overlay from Benjamin Burombo to Luveve Road (1,5kilometres) and Dundee Drive resealing works from Plumtree Road to Matopos Road (2,9 kilometres)," she said.

Source - sundynews

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