Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
GOVERNMENT is happy with the progress made by companies working on the expansion of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, with the first 100 kilometres they are working on expected to be complete by next month.
Last year, Government assigned five contractors to undertake roadworks on the Harare-Beitbridge Highway. Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said: “As a ministry, we are happy with the work done so far. Contractors are on target. Treasury is supportive and funds are coming and the only thing left is for contractors to deliver.
“Our target is that by December this year, at least 200km will be complete. The first 100 kilometres will be completed by end of August.”
Minister Matiza said initially, work had been slowed down by the Covid-19 lockdown, but was now in full swing. Contracted companies are Tensor Systems, Marimba Construction, Fossil Contractors, Exodus Company and Bitumen World.
All these companies have each been allocated 20-kilometre stretches, with room for the stretched to be increased to 100km depending on their performance.
The highway is key in attaining Vision 2030, which seeks to transform the country into an upper middle income economy.
The first section of the road covers Mashonaland East Province on which Tensor Systems is undertaking the rehabilitation works, while Masimba Construction is responsible for road works on the section covering the Midlands Province. Two contractors have been assigned to work on the Masvingo Province section, with Fossil Contractors responsible for the Masvingo-Chatsworth stretch, while Exodus and Company is taking care of the Masvingo-Maringire areas.
Bitumen World is responsible for Matabeleland South Province (the Bubi area). Road works are also in progress on the Harare-Chirundu Highway, which completes the journey from Beitbridge Border Post to Chirundu Border Post.
The Beitbridge-Harare Highway and the Harare-Chirundu Highway project consists of phased dualisation, rehabilitation and widening of the existing roads from the current seven metres width to Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATTC) standard of 12,5 metres width.
Climbing lanes will be added where necessary.
The road sections are Beitbridge-Harare with 570km of road works and eight toll plazas. The Harare-Chirundu section consists of 342km road works and six toll plaza, and the Harare ring road covering 59km with three toll plazas.