City needs $69m for roads: Council

BULAWAYO needs capital investment in the region of $69 million per annum for the rehabilitation of road infrastructure that is currently in a general state of neglect.

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

PotholeFunding for the road network from council’s own meagre resources, Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara), public-private partnership (PPPs) and loans.

According to council’s road rehabilitation and maintenance strategy, 70% of the road network is in a poor state and requires massive rehabilitation.

“Seventy percent of the road network is in a poor state and requires rehabilitation works (and) capital investment.

“Required over a 10-year period is $69 million/annum amounting to $690 million,” part of the council’s road rehabilitation and maintenance strategy, reads.

This comes at a time when the government has ordered the struggling council to reduce the 2014 revenue budget by $10 million, a move the local authority has said would have knock-on effects on service delivery and entire operations.

Council had a proposed revenue budget of $113 762 104 for the year which has since been slashed to $103 762 104 following a government directive.

Officially opening the 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last month, President Robert Mugabe said the state of the country’s roads was appalling.

He said the government should look at dualising roads and not only resurfacing them, adding that many lives were being lost on the country’s roads during public holidays.

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo appealed for financial support from central government, particularly for infrastructure rehabilitation and development, adding that the reintroduction of the public sector investment programme would go a long way in ensuring Bulawayo survived the economic challenges.

As part of council’s efforts to lure investors, Bulawayo is making available vacant land in various suburbs for development and investment.

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