Senior Herald Reporter
Contracted companies performing substandard work under the ongoing Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 countrywide will be blacklisted, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said in Kwekwe over the weekend after observing the poor state of some recently repaired roads in the city and country.
"We are going to blacklist all the companies that are not doing the work as desired by the Second Republic," Minister Mhona said.
The minister however, praised some local road contractors such as Bitumen, which were doing extremely well and finishing their jobs within set and agreed times.
Under the ERRP Phase 2, Government has engaged local companies to do the work and has spent more than US$100 million so far on the emergency programme.
This is in addition to the normal roadworks budget.
Government declared all urban roads to be a state of national disaster in February last year, which meant it could now move into municipal areas that are supposed to be independently responsible for their roads, and shortly after the ERRP was launched.
The objectives of ERRP II are to catch up on years of poor maintenance, and in some cases rebuild roads that were not built properly in the first place, and to harness the potential of the transport system in promoting economic growth.
It is focused on repairing some 26 000km of the road network and reconstructing storm water drains, which are critical in ensuring that roads are not damaged when heavy rain falls.
A reliable road network has been cited as a key component in the country's economic development drive.
In Harare, some roads that have been recently worked on are not in the sort of condition that would be expected.
For example, Seke Road from Maruta shops in Hatfield has substandard resurfacing done on it.
Work on its rehabilitation has been stopped with big and bad potholes emerging and causing traffic jams for motorists at Hunyani Bridge and Chinhamo Service Centre during peak hours.
There is also the Masotsha Ndlovu Road that stretches from Seke Road to Simon Mazorodze that was left unattended in the midst of the rebuild by the contractor for the festive season break and now has gullies across the gravel.
Some of the roads being sorted out in the emergency programme have to be rebuilt, having been originally designed as low-use suburban roads before new developments saw them converted into major highways.
Others have had maintenance ignored for so long that they are damaged beyond repair.
Meanwhile, the recently appointed board chairman of the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority, Dr George Manyaya, said his organisation was ready to disburse roads funds to all 92 local authorities once they have put required modalities in place.
Zinara collects and disburses vehicle licence fees and tollgate revenue to Government and local authorities, the road authorities.