Shepias Dube Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has surpassed the target set in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) for both roads grading and rehabilitation after completing more than 46 000 kilometres of gravel road across the country, a report has shown. According to Zim Asset at least 5 000 kilometres of gravel roads were set to be rehabilitated between 2013 and 2018.
However, a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development which is in possession of Sunday Business showed that over the past two years Zinara has managed to grade 46 000 kilometres of roads in rural and resettlement areas.
According to the report, roads graded so far represent 65 percent of the national gravel network and were done at an estimated cost of close to $300 million.
The amount includes funds used for the procurement of road equipment such as graders and fuel.
The report noted that the 5 000 kilometres target under Zim Asset was set at a time when Government was basing on old and inefficient road equipment which was in stock then.
Records at hand show that Zinara facilitated the procurement of 80 graders which were distributed to the District Development Fund, Rural District Councils and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
The report also showed that other projects completed included the rehabilitation of the 820 kilometre Plumtree-Mutare highway by Infralink, a joint venture between Zinara and a South African company, Big Five International.
Portfolio committee chairman Cde Dexter Nduna said the performance of Zinara was commendable considering that the state enterprise was operating under harsh economic conditions.
He said the committee was confident if funds were made available the company would manage to accomplish all targets set in the Zim Asset.
Cde Nduna said one of the important projects that needed immediate attention was the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road which was expected to cost close to $1,2bn.
“The road is important in that it will not only boost international trade in the entire region but will also reduce road carnage which has claimed a lot of able bodied men and women in the country,” he said.
Other roads that need face uplifting include the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.