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Bulawayo seeks cash for roads upgrade

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THE Bulawayo City Council has tasked its finance department with securing $5 million to rehabilitate the city’s 2 000km road network that is in a deplorable state.

CHIEF REPORTER

Priority would be given to major roads leading into the city.

Although the road network is about 2 000km, council says only “600km was found to be in a reasonable state as compared to the 1 400km”.

Residents and motorists have in the past expressed outrage over the pothole-infested roads with motorists complaining that little or nothing was being done by authorities to address the problem.

A joint council finance and development and environmental management and engineering services committee meeting was held in late February to map strategies of rehabilitating the city’s roads.

“It was accordingly recommended that the financial director be authorised to source funding for the road rehabilitation programme totalling $5 407 595 as submitted by the engineering services department,” a council report reads.

Director of engineering services Simela Dube told the committees that in order to effect changes to the road network, there was need for his department to get funding.

“The financial director expressed willingness to support the director of engineering services in repairing roads. He advised that at the moment there was a $2 million revolving fund to support the normal repairs and another $3 million to purchase equipment to support the rehabilitation of the road network.

“Some of the equipment to be purchased would be used to service stands. The money for the stands now stood at $4,5 million. There was also $635 000 at Tetrad Bank. At the moment Tetrad Bank was experiencing some problems. The biggest investment was at Barclays Bank, but there was very little interest that was being generated,” part of the report reads.

The report said a road network survey had been conducted to ascertain the road condition of the 2 000km of road. Only 600km was found to be in a reasonable state.

“He further advised that priority was given to access roads to the city. $300 000 was allocated to each ward so that roads could be reconstructed. The programme would go ward by ward in consultation with the councillor of the area,” the committee said.

The bad state of the city and country’s major roads has been blamed for most of the fatal accidents that occur weekly.

Most of the country’s roads have outlived their lifespan by more than 30 years.

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