THE Government has bought state-of-the-art equipment under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) as it moves to repair and reconstruct roads in most residential areas in and around the city which are now in a bad state following council’s failure to rehabilitate them.
So far, the Government has rehabilitated at least 40 roads in the city and by next week, 15 other roads are set to be reconstructed.
Yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona commissioned the equipment which was bought through the CMED (Private) Limited.
They include two road reclaimers, two D8 Bulldozers, four 20 000-litre water bowsers, two 20-tonne recovery trucks, three excavators, four graders, one double drum roller, three Padfoot Rollers, three pneumatic rollers, two chip spreaders, one front end loader, four 10-tonne lorries and one tractor horse.
The equipment was commissioned along Alpes Road which CMED has since started reconstructing.
Addressing journalists, Minister Mhona said Alpes Road was one of the most topical roads that the ministry was seized with in terms of inquiries from the people about when it was going to be reconstructed.
“However, let me hasten to clarify issues here. Roads under local authorities, that is cities, fall under the purview of local authorities. And if you remember very well, we had this debate about Zinara, about the City of Harare saying this one is not getting adequate funding.
“But let me say when we talk of a listening President, we then discussed that City of Harare has failed. Why they have failed is because they have been given their allocation on a quarterly basis and this has been actually flighted by Zinara to say this is what is going to local authorities and this is what is going to rural district councils and department of roads,” he said.
He said since councils have failed, Government cannot continue watching the deterioration of the roads.
“So what it entails is that our roads are weak, even if we do pothole patching we still need to do complete reconstruction. And a good example of this is the one road that we are witnessing today (yesterday), that is Alpes. And I am happy that it will start covering Mount Pleasant, it would go to Vainona, Hatcliffe and this stretch is going to cover close to 18km,” Minister Mhona said.
On the equipment, he said, under the New Dispensation, Government changed its model on the delivery of road infrastructure, with the Department of Roads assuming a quality control function while local contractors became active players in the rehabilitation of road infrastructure in line with the empowerment drive.
He said the company has gradually, over the past two years been procuring equipment for the construction and Civil Works Unit, capacitating it to fulfil its mandate.
“It is highly commendable for a company to recapitalise to the scale we are witnessing today, given the prevailing inflationary environment. CMED is surely transforming itself into a multifaceted equipment centre with all Government equipment solutions meant to position it as a tech hub that will definitely change the fortunes of the nation.
“Most of the equipment is already on the ground. Indeed, the CMED has gone into an overdrive mode in terms of recapitalisation. A lot more is expected to be delivered in batches. The new acquisitions therefore reduce the company’s operating costs as there won’t be need to hire such equipment from other operators,” he said.
CMED has implemented a number of road projects throughout the country since the Construction and Civil Works Unit commenced operations in March 2021.
CMED managing director Engineer Davison Mhaka said Zimbabwe has an estimated road network of 84 000km, out of which 93 percent of the network was in fair or poor condition and in need of rehabilitation or periodic maintenance.
“The Zimbabwean Government has targeted to increase the number of kilometres of road network converted to meet Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) standards from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2025; and to increase the number of kilometres of road network in good condition from 14 702km to 24 500km by 2025.
“In this light, CMED’s recapitalisation and capacity building thrust is well in line with the NDS 1 and the National Vision 2030. For the years, 2021 and 2022, as CMED we managed to rehabilitate a total of 41,7km of asphalt roads and 340,48km of rural roads across the country,” he said.
Some of the major urban road projects rehabilitated by CMED in the last two years are Boshoff drive in Harare; Kelvin South; Ruwa Mushanje; Paisley; Masotcha Ndlovu; Ceres; Kent; Masiyephambili in Bulawayo; Mbizo road in Kwekwe and Magamba Road in Mutare.
Mr Mhaka said going forward, CMED would venture into land development and agricultural projects that include land clearing, dams and canals construction, and all irrigation-related projects. – Herald