THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) last month disbursed slightly over $1 million for the rehabilitation of Bulawayo’s roads, but city authorities said the money was not enough to finance significant work in light of the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The continued fall in value of the country’s surrogate bond note currency against the United States dollar and other currencies has resulted in the cost of goods and services skyrocketing beyond reach.
According to city fathers, the council services have not been spared from the harsh economic climate, and the recent disbursement of $ 1 197 892,80 for roads rehabilitation programme was insignificant.
According to chamber secretary, Sikhangele Zhou, if the money had been disbursed earlier, it might have been significant, but recent economic developments have eroded its value.
“The chamber secretary advised that at the beginning of every year council submits a road plan to Zinara. The plan included the targeted roads for that particular year. Priority had been given to main roads (those used to connect area by public transport),” reads part of a report by the town, lands and planning committee.
“Allocation for this year had been outstanding for a long time and the expectation was that had it come earlier, much could have been done. With the prevailing economic challenges, little would be done because the money had lost value. She confirmed that priority roads would be attended to first.”
The city’s road network continues to deteriorate due to ageing and lack of timely maintenance owing to resource constraints. A road condition survey conducted early this year showed that nearly 80% of the city’s road network required heavy rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Last year, council was forced to turn to individuals, community groups and companies for road maintenance work, pleading that they volunteer to rehabilitate roads under an ‘adopt-a-road’ concept.
City fathers said such incidents could be afforded through the concept, which they argued will also save ratepayers millions.