AT least $600 million has been injected into the rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, according to the Finance ministry.
BY MTHANDAZO MOYO
Government last year assigned five contractors to rehabilitate the highway to improve the country’s road infrastructure.
Tensor Systems, Masimba Construction, Fossil Contractors, Exodus Company and Bitumen World are the key firms undertaking the work to improve traffic flow on one of the region’s busiest roads.
The companies were each allocated 20-kilometre stretches of the trunk road, with room for more allocations if they performed well.
In a presentation titled Austerity for Prosperity: From Deficits to Surpluses, Clive Mphambela, an official in the ministry, said they were targeting to complete about 200km this year.
“Harare-Beitbridge is one of the priority road projects underway (and) there are five contractors on the ground, each widening and resurfacing 20km. The target is to complete 200km this year. To date, over $600 million has been disbursed to the project,” he said.
The Beitbridge-Harare and the Harare-Chirundu highway expansion project will be carried out in phases.
Work on the road that stretches over 950km from Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia to the Limpopo will involve the dualisation, rehabilitation and widening of the existing roads from the current seven metres width to 12,5 metres recommended by the Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission.
Notwithstanding pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mphambela said government continued to prioritise ongoing critical infrastructure projects in roads, energy and water and sanitation.
He said Treasury had ring-fenced resources towards these projects, critical for enabling the doing business environment.
The 2020 national budget targeted to raise $25 billion for infrastructure development, of which $12 billion is being financed through fiscal
“As at end July 2020, Treasury had channelled $6,6 billion towards infrastructure development, with the remainder of $5,4 billion being targeted for release during the last half of 2020,” he said.
Some of the priority projects being undertaken include the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project together with rehabilitation of other thermal power stations, expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport as well as construction of the new Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, Harare.