Biz-Community (Cape Town)

South Africa: Group Five Opens Toll Road in Zimbabwe

Group Five has announced a R1.8 Billion Infralink road construction contract in Zimbabwe. This coincides with the opening of the Ntabazinduna Toll Plaza near Bulawayo.

The contract is part of a government initiative to upgrade logistics networks in the landlocked country‚ to support anticipated growth in the economy.

The 822km east-to-west route is one of the first roads to be upgraded‚ linking neighbouring Botswana through Plumtree‚ Bulawayo‚ Harare and Mutare on the Mozambique border.

The Ntabazinduna plaza‚ which is situated about 20km outside Bulawayo‚ is the first of eight toll plazas to be built and operated by Group Five on that route.

The seven other plazas will be constructed and incrementally opened over the next 18 months.

"This contract is an example of what can be achieved when governments and public and private sectors work together‚" Mike Upton‚ Group Five's chief executive‚ said on Tuesday (9 April).

He said the contract bore testimony to the group's experience in working in Africa‚ its multi-disciplinary capabilities‚ and ability to support infrastructure from inception and construction‚ to operations and maintenance.

The group has operations in 18 countries on the continent‚ with African projects providing about 30% of the current order book.

The first toll plaza is situated about 20km outside Bulawayo. Group Five implemented its own systems and tolling solutions on the contract. It also said it ensured substantive local Zimbabwean participation in the execution of the work.

Nicholas Goche‚ Zimbabwe's minister of transport‚ communications and infrastructure development said that road infrastructure was vital to enable the country to unlock its economic potential.

"The development of road infrastructure in Zimbabwe promotes national trade and efficient flow between Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries and ports‚" he said.

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