Tinashe Makichi : Business Reporter
Local construction consortium, Homeseekers Incorporation has struck a partnership deal with South Africa’s leading engineering and construction firm, Polymer Pavements for the supply of latest and low cost road construction technology in Zimbabwe. Polymer manufactures and develops environmentally friendly smart materials for road construction, dust control, barrier liners and spray on geo liners for dams. These smart materials include in-situ material binders, soil modifiers, asphalt modifiers and elastomeric mortar admixtures.
Homeseekers’ road construction unit, Rodchem, has already carried out a 200-metre road construction demonstration along Market Road in Bulawayo’s Kelvin North industrial area.
Homeseekers executive chairman Mr Sifiso Ndlovu told The Herald Business that the new model will reduce road construction costs by 40 percent.
“The new technology reduces the number of supporting aggregate layers for cement modified and rigid road designs thereby substantially reducing construction costs by about 40 percent. This is a raw deal for local authorities and Rural District Council who have been failing to service roads due to lack of funding.
“Many local authorities have embraced this idea but funding has been the biggest challenge for them,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“Rodchem is an abbreviation for road chemistry which relates to the chemical application and engineering of roads. This is a scientific approach where we are adopting cheaper modes of road construction particularly dust roads and service roads into the rural areas and districts.”
In general, the construction industry has been pedestrian in adopting technology.
Initially Polyroads developed products exclusively to address dust suppression on mines. However, over the years the product range has broadened substantially with the company’s products being readily adopted in the private and Government sectors.
Homeseekers chief executive Mr Mkhululi Nyathi said the new technology will modify the country’s roads and in the process drive economic development.
“We believe the product will alleviate the poor state of most of our rural roads in terms of improvement and give them a longer lifespan than what is being attained now. It also suppresses dust.
“The issue of potholes in city residential areas will be a thing of the past while maintenance costs are reduced.
“This means the budget of doing the roads is also drastically curtailed with this technology,” said Mr Nyathi.
Polymer Pavements also known as Polyroads is headquartered in Johannesburg, South African and is present in eighteen countries on four continents.