BY SILAS NKALA
GOVERNMENT, through the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), recently disbursed over $15 million to the Bulawayo City Council for routine road maintenance works that includes pothole patching.
The maintenance works are expected to start this month.
“The 2021 Zinara budget allocation was $154 360 730 to cover both routine and periodic maintenance works,” council minutes read in part.
“The routine maintenance works would comprise of pothole patching of public transport routes, central business district, major and minor collector roads with an allocation of $61 744 220, while the periodic maintenance programme would focus on the rehabilitation of Masiyephambili Drive between Victoria Falls road and Luveve Road, approximately a 6,5km section.
“The rehabilitation would comprise pavement reconstruction, storm water drainage improvement, and installation of streetlights on the 2,2km stretch and resealing works on the 4,3km stretch.
“The rehabilitation works were estimated to cost approximately $92 616 438. Zinara disbursed $15 436 055 for the first quarter on February 3, 2021 for routine maintenance works. So far, 75% of the funds had been used in the procurement of materials to produce coldmix, hotmix, road line paint, and plant repairs.”
According to the minutes, the target was to utilise the disbursed funds to enable Zinara to release the second quarter disbursement.
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Council engineer Simela Dube confirmed that $15 436 055 had been disbursed for routine maintenance works, starting with pothole patching by community groups.
He said the outstanding wards which were left out in 2020 would be considered first for the maintenance.
“The declaration (of roads as a state of national disaster) was expected to trigger mobilisation and the release of funds to attend to the damaged roads in accordance with SI [Statutory Instrument] 47 of 2021 section 6,” the minutes read.
“For the duration, the Department of Roads shall take over the rehabilitation and construction of major roads in urban local authorities to expedite maintenance and repair works with provincial road engineers superintending over all roads within their respective provinces.
“The Department of Roads shall access the advances to the National Protection Fund that may be made in terms of section 30 of the Civil Protection Act (Chapter 10:06). The government was, however, yet to allocate ERRP [emergency road rehabilitation programme] funds to local authorities. The disbursement formula and pattern was unknown.”
The works are supposed to start this month and the roads listed in the programme are Matopos Road- 23rd Avenue City boundary, Old Esigodini Crouch Road-Hope Fountain Road, Nkulumane roads, Maduma Road, Intemba to S Ngwenya shops, Luveve 5 roads, Murchison Road, 4th Avenue-Robert Mugabe Way to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 8th Avenue- Robert Mugabe Way to Jason Moyo.
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