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Govt mulls new Build Operate Transfer contractor for Beitbridge-Vic Falls highway

by Staff reporter
22 Nov 2021 at 05:54hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said Government is considering engaging a new contractor to upgrade the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway after noting that the company which was awarded the tender was unnecessarily delaying to start the project.

Construction of world-class roads and other infrastructure is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) key priorities and is critical to the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle-income economy.

The Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway provides a corridor that connects South Africa and Zambia.
A South African firm Khato Civils secured the deal for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highways in a build, operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement in 2019.

The company then roped in Zimre Holdings through its subsidiaries, and South Zambezi in a joint venture.
A memorandum of agreement between Zimbabwe and Khato was signed in April 2019, followed by a letter of appointment.

The Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway links Zimbabwe to the trans-African highway linking Gaborone to Pretoria.

Beitbridge is the busiest inland port in Sadc, offering a gateway to and from South Africa for most countries in the region.
Remarkable progress has already been made in  upgrading the Harare-Beitbridge highway by local companies with the entire 274km  stretch expected to be completed by the end of next year as President Mnangagwa's administration continues to fulfil its election promises.

The Second Republic undertook to embark on infrastructural development as one of the key enablers to spur socio-economic growth towards Vision 2030 with rehabilitation and upgrading of the Harare-Beitbridge highway top of the priority list.
Government awarded five local companies contracts to rebuild the highway so that it becomes a world class road.
The companies are Bitumen World, Exodus and Company, Masimba Construction, Tensor Systems and Fossil Contracting.

Working with mostly local contractors, the Government has so far completed 240km, which have since been opened to traffic.

Besides upgrading roads, the Second Republic has embarked on many other infrastructural projects aimed at stimulating the economy in line with the drive to attain an upper middle-income society.

President Mnangagwa, who was speaking during a Zanu-PF rally at Dulivhadzimu Stadium in Beitbridge last week, said the current contractor of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road had taken more than one year to get things moving, thus stalling progress.

"As Government, we are building our country, and that includes the fixing of our roads because meaningful development of any country hinges on economic trade locally, regionally, and internationally," said President Mnangagwa.

"This requires good roads and the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway is already under construction and as for the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, we are almost past a year after having given a tender to one contractor.
"However, it appears he is failing, so ndaitaura na vaChiwenga vakati, pada haana mari uyu, ngatitsvagei umwe basa rifambe (I was talking to Vice President Chiwenga about that road and we reckon the contractor might be lacking resources, now we are considering giving that tender to someone who will be able to deliver".)

President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic was leaving no stone unturned in spreading economic and infrastructure development in Zimbabwe.

He said more roads were being upgraded and rehabilitated under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Program 2.
The President said Government has the much-needed resources to fully implement the ERRP.

In Matabeleland South, President Mnangagwa said the Gwanda-Maphisa, West Nicholson-Mberengwa, Stanmore-Filabusi and the Plumtree-Ndolwane roads will be urgently fixed under the ERRP initiative.

A total of $33,6 billion has been budgeted for the roads under the second phase of ERRP2. Zimbabwe National

Roads Administration (Zinara) has already disbursed $2,3 billion to various local authorities.

Under ERRP2, the Government is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000km of roads countrywide.

The rehabilitation and modernisation of the country's road infrastructure has also seen the refurbishment of the Karoi-Binga road among other trunk roads.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Engineer Theodius Chinyanga said:

"This project is supposed to be a build, operate and transfer arrangement (BOT) so there is need for the contractor to understand the full scope of work so that they can then raise the funds after which we can then conclude the BOT arrangement knowing the total cost to the country."

Source - The Chronicle