Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BULAWAYO is now reaping the benefits of the President Mnangagwa initiated Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Two, with teams now moving in to fix major roads within the Central Business District.
The Government set aside $33,6 billion for the second phase of the ERRP, after the Government in February declared the country’s road network a state of disaster as most of them had become untrafficable following damage by heavy rains that were received across the country.
In Bulawayo, 65 major roads are being rehabilitated under the facility at an estimated cost of $625 million.
Road construction falls under the infrastructure cluster and roads are regarded as key economic enablers in line with the attainment of Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income society. According to the latest council report, of the 65 major roads that were identified in the city for rehabilitation, already seven are 100 percent complete while others are at various levels of completion.
Over the last week Sunday News observed a team that is working on rehabilitating 8th Avenue on site carrying out the rehabilitation works.
“The pothole patching activity continued City wide so as to improve the riding quality on the roads. The works were funded under Emergency RoadsRehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2) which was targeting specific roads that were approved by the Government.
The cold mix was collected from Asphalt Product under the ERRP2 arrangement where the Ministry of Transport allocated the City of Bulawayo 315 tonnes of coldmix to be paid for using the ERRP2 funds,” reads part of the report.
Commenting on the status of the road rehabilitation programme in the city, Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni said in 2022 road rehabilitation will be their priority, commending the ERRP2 for its positive contribution in upgrading the city’s roads.
“In terms of water and sewerage we have tried our best to renew our infrastructure, if you recall the last time our pumps were renewed was in the 1970s and during our terms we have managed to renew our infrastructure.
“We are now saying let us move to the roads infrastructure, we have a roads condition survey that was done back in 2016 that we are trying to follow up on and thanks to the Government which then came in with the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme to complement the effort that we were doing with our internal resources,” said Clr Mguni.
He said they were hopeful that ERRP will be further extended. The local authority recently revealed that at least 75 percent of Bulawayo’s road network has outlived its lifespan, noting that they needed approximately US$700 million to bring it to good condition.