By Munyaradzi Doma
The Harare City Council plans to introduce a 20 percent infrastructure development levy on all new developments effective this January to enable them to fund road programmes.
The 20 percent infrastructure development levy will be used as a leverage to borrow funding for road programmes.
This is among measures which city fathers will employ to fund road infrastructure which is in a sorry state as they failed to meet major road infrastructure targets.
While Harare had hoped national road fund administrator ZINARA will give them more funds for road infrastructure, city fathers have continued to cry foul.
Presenting the council 2020 budget, Finance and Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Luckson Mukunguma said they had budgeted a total of ZW$101 million for road infrastructure while ZW$4,8 million is for traffic management and ZW$1,86 million is for traffic enforcement.
For the road programmes, council hopes to source ZW$14,8 million from loans, ZW$12,1 million from revenue contribution to capital outlay while they expect ZW$81,2 million from ZINARA.
“The state of our roads remains deplorable and this year we managed to do only 10km of the targeted 545 km, then in terms of preventive maintenance we did only 18 km of the targeted 585 km.
“This was largely due to the late disbursement of funds and price variations caused by distortions in the market.
“We constantly requested more funds to implement road works but ZINARA
did not respond positively to our pleas,” he said.
Councillor Mukunguma added that in further pursuance to fund the road programmes, they will also find other sources as most of Harare’s roads have outlived their lifespan.
“In order to give hope for trafficable roads to the populace, your Council will ring-fence revenue from City Parking Private Limited and use it as a leverage to borrow loans to funds other roads programmes.
“We hope that through the efforts alluded to above we can be able to do 120km of roads.
“In terms of roads programmes, we rely heavily on ZINARA funds. During the
current financial year, we have managed to receive ZW$12.9m.
“When the vehicle-licensing portfolio was still under the City of Harare we managed to
collect an average of $9 million annually. “Subject to confirmation, the vehicle
population in Harare is way over 450 thousand and if the City was managing
the vehicle licensing portfolio on its own we would be able to carry to road
construction and major maintenance works.
“We remain hopeful that ZINARA disburses more funds to us so that we keep our road maintenance on course.
“As we wait for the decision from government, we are alive to the challenges facing the motoring public, we travel on the same roads and we feel the impact of the state of the roads on our vehicles,” he said.