Bulawayo road works grind to a halt due to ‘tar shortage’

21 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Bulawayo road works grind to a halt due to ‘tar shortage’

The Sunday News

Rutendo Nyeve , Sunday News Reporter

THE rehabilitation of Luveve Road between Mzilikazi and Makokoba suburbs that has been going on since last year has come to a screeching halt, allegedly over shortage of tar from the city’s supplier.

The shortage of tar has reportedly been caused by a fault at the supplier’s plant and has also seen pot hole patching works that were scheduled to be done ahead of the upcoming Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) also grinding to a halt.

Last Wednesday, Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube, Deputy Mayor Councillor Edwin Ndlovu and councillors toured some of the projects being undertaken by council including Fifth Avenue and Burombo Flats. They also passed through Luveve Road.

Asked on the progress of the road rehabilitation, Clr Ndlovu said the city was experiencing shortage of tar from its supplier, a development which was grinding the works to a halt.

“Currently, our challenge is that we do not have tar. We want premix there (Luveve Road) but we do not have. The plant of the company where we source the premix is down and we cannot get the premix at the moment. This has really crippled our road rehabilitation works, especially pothole patching. As we speak, we are preparing for the ZITF and we need to do a lot of pothole patching and road rehabilitation works, but the unavailability of tar is stalling the process,” said Clr Ndlovu.

He said the long lasting solution for the city was for it to have its own batching plant, which would supply premix and other road rehabilitation works.

“The solution is to have our own batching plant. If we are really serious about our roads, we must have our own plant. This is what as council we are looking into,” he said.

However, Mr Francis Mangwendeza who is the chief executive officer of Asphalt Products, the company that supplies the city with tar, dismissed the claims of a broken down plant.

He said they were supplying the city with tar but couldn’t be drawn into shedding more light saying commenting on the issue would be a breach of their contract with the local authority.

A source within the company said they have had a breakdown on one of the machines and it only reduced the quantity and not stopped them from supplying the tar.

“We supplied tar for the Fifth Avenue road rehabilitation works, Egodini’s Basch Street and other roads, which council has been working on.

“In terms of Luveve Road, the project started about a year ago and I doubt we could have failed to supply tar since then,” said the source.

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