Bulawayo Unveils 2022 Road Strategy

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE BULAWAYO City has unveiled its 2022 road implementation strategy, which will focus on rehabilitating the city’s pothole-littered roads.

The strategy will be implemented under the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme and Devolution funding.

Bulawayo City Council communications manager Nesisa Mpofu said under the intervention, the municipality was expected to reseal roads.

“The City of Bulawayo notes that most of its roads are in a poor state, following the rains which have been received and also due to the fact that most of the city’s roads have outlived their economic life,” she said.

“The state of the city’s road network has been declining due to a large and growing backlog of deferred maintenance programmes, which is attributed to lack of funding for decades.

“Road infrastructure shortcomings have resulted in increased travel time, potholes, leading to a decline in road safety and high vehicle operating costs.”

The council spokesperson added that the council had focused its maintenance programmes on public transport routes, arterials, collector roads, the central business district, leaving the majority of the network unattended due to financial constraints.

Mpofu revealed that 75% of the city roads are in poor condition and required at least US$700 million for repairs.

Bulawayo city has approximately 2 400km of road network.

Mpofu said the city’s road allocation budget had been declining for the past years.

“Traditionally, government allocations through the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) and revenue accruing to the council have been the primary sources of funding for road infrastructure. Year on year, budget allocations have compared unfavorably with funding considered inadequate to maintain the road network. As a result, the road network has continued to deteriorate due to the gap between maintenance requirements and funding,” she added.