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Bulawayo targets private companies for tar-making plant

The developments were confirmed by the city's deputy mayor Edwin Ndlovu in an interview on Friday last week.

THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has resolved to allow management to negotiate with possible private partners to purchase a batching plant to rehabilitate roads amid concerns that the network has deteriorated to deplorable levels.

The developments were confirmed by the city's deputy mayor Edwin Ndlovu in an interview on Friday last week.

He said council, on Wednesday in its meeting, resolved to mandate the management committee to negotiate with possible partners to purchase a batching plant to rehabilitate roads which are now dangerous to the citizens of the great city.

“As a traffic expert myself, we have discovered that most of the road accidents are caused by the state of our roads.

“We then gave the management the mandate to negotiate either a public-private partnership or build operate and transfer and purchase a batching plant for the purpose. This is after we also resolved to support the construction of Glassblock Dam.

“This council is about transformation as per our vision to be a leading smart, transformative and progressive city,” he said.

Indications are that in considering the private players in the establishment of a tar-making plant, council will look at the company’s capacity to create jobs for local people and the company should have a  history of giving back to the community.

Ndlovu said council's negotiations with private companies would be for the purposes of importing a tar-batching machine to assist in the rehabilitation of the roads.

However, the new developments come at a time when the government through the Zimbabwe National Road Administration allocated BCC over ZWL$12 billion for road rehabilitation which the council said was inadequate according to the latest council minutes.

“The city’s allocation for the year 2024 was ZWL$12 124 293 120,29 for both routine and periodic maintenance works.

“The city intended to use 30% of the allocation, ZWL$3 637 287 936,08 for routine maintenance and ZWL$8 487 005 184,21 for periodic maintenance.

“The routine maintenance works will comprise pothole patching, localised pavement reconstruction works, signage, road markings and street light repairs city wide, while periodic maintenance will include reconstruction works on Wellington, Murchinson and Luveve 5 roads.

“The roads that required urgent rehabilitation work (23,1km length) during the year 2024 were estimated to cost US$20 553 000 or ZWL$117 328 449 675,21 using Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction rate of US$1 to ZWL$5 790,0545 as of 30th November 2023.

“Due to budgetary constraints the city has the capacity to procure the Asphalt Batching plant (and associated supporting equipment) and rehabilitate roads covering a total length of 9,4km at a total cost of US$6 000 790 (ZWL$36 645 173 870).”

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