GOVERNMENT is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000km of road infrastructure countrywide, including major highways to ensure achievement of world-class road network in line with Vision 2030, Transport deputy minister Mike Madiro has said.

Madiro said this last week in Parliament in response to questions by MPs on government’s initiatives to repair the country’s dilapidated road infrastructure, as well as the upgrading of the Beitbridge-Victoria Falls Highway.

In February this year, government declared the country’s roads a state of national disaster after most of them, including bridges, were destroyed by incessant rains that hit the country last year.

“The government is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000km of roads countrywide. This initiative has seen the rehabilitation of major roads and highways throughout the country,” Madiro said.

“The Beitbridge-Victoria Falls Road rehabilitation project is being undertaken under a public-private-partnership (PPPs) arrangement. What this means is that there is to exist a co-operative arrangement between the public and private sector built on the expertise of each partner, which best meets clearly defined needs through the appropriate allocation of resources, risks and the wards.

He added: “This entails a procurement method, where government invites the public sector for a contractual relationship in order to design, construct, finance, manage and take the operational risk of the public sector infrastructure facilities, in this case road infrastructure. PPPs are increasingly seen as a mechanism to develop infrastructure on a cost-effective and sustainable basis and if properly managed, PPPs have a potential to unlock the much-needed financial resources to fund public projects.”

Madiro said the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry had appointed a project proponent who is currently on the ground undertaking a feasibility study and the financial arrangement would be submitted to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency for its consideration and approval.

“There is considerable progress and the project is on track. Allow me to share timelines of major milestones on the project. By December 2021, there will be the submission of the first report of the feasibility study. By end of February 2022, the final report of the feasibility study will be submitted.”

The deputy minister said approval processes and financial closure would be done in not more than three months, adding that by June 2022, rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Victoria Falls Highway would commence.