By Helen Kadirire
The Harare City Council (HCC) is considering constructing concrete roads this year.
The local authority’s acting town clerk, Josephine Ncube, said cement roads last longer, the materials are readily available and HCC had the capacity to use such technology.
Ncube said the pilot project will start with the Arcturus Road.
“There is, from a technical perspective, quite a justification to have cement roads rather than bitumen. Once Arcturus succeeds, we will spread it to other roads in the city,” she said.
The drive to redo Harare’s roads comes after residents have been complaining of the state of the city’s roads.
Council has not done any major maintenance on most Harare roads in the last two decades, leaving them extremely disfigured and increasingly unnavigable.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said while Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) is collecting licensing fees for vehicles, that should not take away the local authority’s responsibility in road rehabilitation.
The trust said that although part of the property tax charged on residents’ bills goes towards road maintenance and street lighting, nothing is being fixed.
“The money being generated from vehicle clamping and towing which goes into city coffers directly, racked in through the traffic section, should be contributing significantly towards road maintenance and rehabilitation,” HRT said.
Last year, Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said residents should blame Zinara for the lack of road maintenance and repairs instead of council.
“Residents should focus their complaints on potholes and poor roads to Zinara and not HCC.
“We should be getting about $40 million per year from Zinara for road maintenance but they are only remitting $1 million, which is not enough for standard repairs,” he said. Daily News