Harare City Council has received $26 million from Government's Emergency Rehabilitation Fund to ensure that roads are repaired before the onset of the rainy season. According to recent ordinary council minutes, Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube told councillors that so far $6 million has been used in road maintenance. "The Acting Town Clerk advised that the programme was being funded by the Emergency Rehabilitation Fund and City of Harare had been awarded $26 million, and so far, $6 million had been used," reads the minutes. "In coming up with the list of roads to be repaired, council had identified major arterial roads, which were widespread within the wards.
There was need for speed to ensure the roads were repaired before the onset of the rains and teams had been put in place to ensure that the roads were repaired on time." Council has since identified roads that require urgent attention, which include Granville Cemetery Road, Kuwadzana Extension (when turning into Bulawayo Road) and Ardbennie Road, among others.
The city council is also requesting the Department of Works (in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development) to include a provision for black spots and humps in the 2018 budget. The City of Harare is now embarking on the second phase of roadworks which entail road reconstruction, rehabilitation, resealing, overlaying and marking. The city's 2018 budget proposes to allocate $12 million to roads and maintenance programmes.
"It, therefore, behoves the city to fully capacitate its roads maintenance teams and steer clear of hiring plant, equipment and machinery. Council will indeed be seized with programmes to render zones fully functional before end of 2018 and the envisaged retooling exercise as targeted in the 2017 and 2018 budget is particularly instructive," said the city's finance committee chairperson councillor Luckson Mukunguma while presenting the 2018 budget.
In February, President Mugabe officially declared a state of disaster on Harare's roads and road infrastructure through a notice published in the Government Gazette. The road network has not had any meaningful routine maintenance over the last 15 years. Government has pledged to help rehabilitate the capital's 5 000-kilometre road network.