REVENUE at the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority surged by more than 50 percent in the last two months feeding from the authority’s partnerships with insurance companies in the computerisation of insurance cover notes In the past insurance cover notes were issued manually and were subject to abuse which deprived Zinara of significant revenue.“We have killed the fake insurance cover notes with our partnership (with insurance companies). We were able to computerise and so far we have seen a surge in revenues. I call this a game changer,” Zinara chief executive officer Moses Juma said.
Mr Juma was addressing the official launch of the inaugural Infrastructure Development Conference 2016 organised by the authority and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair yesterday.
The meeting was a precursor to the Infrastructure Development Conference to be held next month. The conference will run concurrently with Zimbabwe’s premier mining, engineering, transport and construction expo, Mine Entra 2016.
Expected revenue collection should top $200 million and the authority has entered into other partnerships to enhance collections.
But this is not enough for roads and infrastructure development in Zimbabwe, according to the Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Eng Michael Madanha.
“Zimbabwe is in need of investment in infrastructure and in particular roads and energy sectors. Our roads now require periodic maintenance as they are past their lifespan. Projects under the ZimAsset blueprint, if they are to be realised, they require an estimated total of $5 billion and will partly be financed through the Treasury and also by development partners and the private sector through Public Private Partnerships,” said Deputy Minister Madanha.
Zinara has so far partnered several banks including Zimpost, CBZ, Steward Bank, NMB, Agribank on vehicle licence fees.
In 2012 Zinara partnered a private company for revenue collection systems.
“We computerised and we were able to increase our tollgate revenue by over 60 percent and we were also able to increase vehicle licensing fees by over 300 percent. Again we partnered another private company on the construction and computerisation of 90 state-of-the-art tollgates which are 100 percent solar powered,” said Mr Juma.
“And again in 2014 we partnered ZBC on the collection of vehicle radio licence fees. This partnership resulted in ZBC increasing revenue by an excess of 300 percent,” he said.
Zinara is also in a continuous partnership with all the 60 rural district councils and all the 33 urban councils.
The July conference is expected to create an interactive platform for policy makers and stakeholders to discuss infrastructure-related policies and initiatives as well as to explore latest developments and technologies.
Some of the conference’s objectives include sharing the vision for a good road network system and how best to integrate technology and policy to support the growth of a good infrastructure.
It will also cover understanding how public and private partnerships and cross-industry collaboration can drive and support infrastructure development.
Zinara is a body established in terms of the Roads Act (Chapter 13:18). Some of the authority’s core business include fixing road user charges and to collect such charges or any other revenue of the Road Fund in consultation with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
Zinara is also responsible for assisting the Minister in setting maintenance, design, construction and technical standard and to monitor adherence to such standards by Road Authorities; to allocate and disburse to road authorities funds from the Road Fund in accordance with rules prescribed b the Road Administration; to audit the use of funds from the Road Fund by the Authorities and to ensure that disbursed funds are utilised for the purpose for which they are intended and in accordance with rules prescribed by the Road Administration and to monitor implementation of road maintenance works by Road Authorities.
Currently, the country has more than 20 tollgates some of which are jointly managed by the Southern Region Trading Company (SRTC), while others are under the ambit of Intertoll — a special purpose vehicle that was formed out of Zinara’s partnership with Group Five of South Africa.
Zimbabwe has a total road network of 87 654km made up of 18 460km State highways, 8 194km urban roads, 61 000km rural roads.=