Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT and stakeholders in the local construction sector have found common ground and are ready to work together in the transformation of the country’s infrastructure.
This was said last week by the permanent secretary for State Enterprises and Corporate Governance Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Willard Manungo in his address during the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ)-Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (Cifoz) conference in Harare.
Mr Manungo said following intense deliberation during the two-day conference which ended last Wednesday, “Government and the private sector now have a common position in terms of the state of preparedness with respect to infrastructure development in the country.
“This is what is desirable and should be sustained, he said. I also believe that the private sector now has deeper understanding of the objective of Government and in particular His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa’s vision of ‘an Upper Middle Income State by 2030.”
The private sector expressed a number of concerns during the conference, which included Government’s desire to award contracts to foreigners, even when locals can implement the projects, in some cases at a lower cost. Mr Manungo said Government had taken note of the contractors’ concerns through Cifoz, which include progressive and committed leadership by both clients and contractors.
He reassured the construction sector that the new thrust of developing infrastructure through local resources would see them getting more contracts. Some of the marquee infrastructure projects lined up include the widening of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, the Harare-Chirundu Highway and construction of state-of-the-art flats in Mbare and houses for the generality of the population.
The Harare-Beitbridge Highway and the Harare-Chirundu Highway are set to be allocated $500 million in the next three years through the National Budget, which will open opportunities for local players to participate in the implementation of the projects. Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) chief executive officer Mr Nyasha Chizu told the delegates there would be “no procurement when adequate funding is not available”.
Mr Chizu said bidders should specify sources of materials, while deliveries should be done with registered vehicles that have trackers.
The two-day conference ran under the theme: “Towards Vision 2030 National Transport, Housing and Infrastructure projects – harnessing on public and private sector synergies.”