Bulawayo roads in bad state, $2m needed

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ABOUT 75% of Bulawayo City’s road network is in poor condition and the local authority needs $2 million for rehabilitation.

NQOBANI NDLOVU

According to a roads assessment report compiled by the council’s environmental, management and engineering services committee, the rehabilitation exercise might take three years to complete.

Under the programme set to begin in July, a maximum of 50km of access roads per ward, depending on their condition, would be re-gravelled, surfaced or reconstructed to make them passable.

“The maintenance of these roads is lagging behind due to inadequate resources while the roads continue to deteriorate,” the report said.

“According to the road condition assessment report 74% of the access roads are in poor condition requiring heavy rehabilitation.”

The report shows that the rehabilitation of roads was moving at a snail’s pace as council had for years only set 5km targets for regravelling roads per each ward.

This has been increased to 50km to speed up the exercise.

“For the past three years, the regravelling programme has been lagging behind.

“The roads branch has been regravelling an average of 25km in five wards per year,” the report said.

“This means it takes six years to cover all the city wards, covering 5km per ward.

“The implication is that the regravelling exercise will be carried out once in six years in each ward.

“The branch is now proposing to regravel at least 50km per year covering 15 wards per annum.”

The council said it will hire private companies because of equipment shortages and breakdowns.

“The estimated cost of the programme is $1,870,825.22 (per year).

Roads proposed by staff for the programme will be verified by the ward councillors and approved by the director of engineering services.

“A total of $7,887, 850.08 is required to support this program from 2015 to 2018,” the report indicated.

Transport minister, Obert Mpofu, has proposed tollgates in all cities to assist local authorities rehabilitate the roads.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Bulawayo City Council might have to consider partnering with private sector players on the Build Operate Transfer module in order to achieve the goals set for road rehabilitation. I can’t see the reported targets being met by the City Council using its own resources.

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