Zaka — Government has contracted five more companies to undertake the Harare-Beitbridge highway rehabilitation and its subsequent dualisation, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said.
Addressing people at the Gutu-Kurai road ground-breaking ceremony held at Guzha Business Centre in Gutu over the weekend, Minister Matiza said roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses.
He said Government, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, valued development of roads as they linked producers to markets, workers to jobs , students to schools and the sick to hospitals, so they need to be developed.
The Cabinet minister said the Harare-Beitbridge highway dualisation project is part of a US$2,7 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu venture covering 971km divided into three sections.
The sections are Beitbridge-Harare with 570km of road and eight toll plazas, Harare-Chirundu section consisting of 342km road and six toll plazas and the Harare ring road covering 59km with three toll plazas.
The selection of the five more contractors to add on top of those on the ground is complete and we expect them to be on site in the next two weeks. The process of surveys is also ongoing, he said.
We are doing the rehabilitation for the existing road and expansion. The other one is a new green-field and these are some of the surveys being carried out along the highway."
The Herald has also established that Government has engaged Japanese surveyors who are already working along the Harare-Masvingo highway.
The Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway facilitates regional trade and the movement of millions of people within southern, central and east Africa.
Road works for the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway consist of phased dualisation, rehabilitation and widening of the existing road from the current seven metres width to Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATTC) standard of 12,5 metres width, and adding climbing lanes where necessary.
It is estimated that the project will be complete by 2022.
The making of Gutu-Kurai road is expected to start after President Mnangagwa's administration released funding for the project.
Government is upgrading roads across the country as they are key enablers of economic development as Zimbabwe angles for upper middle income economy status by 2030.