By Innocent Ruwende
Fifteen refuse trucks which are part of the 30 compactors bought by Harare City Council from automotive manufacturer, FAW Group Corporation for $3,1 million are still holed up in South Africa owing to foreign currency challenges.
The compactors which were bought last year are part of plant and equipment bought under a $30 million loan facility accessed from local banks for recapitalisation.
FAW has already delivered 15 refuse trucks and 10 skip trucks using its own resources and the $300 000 it got from RBZ.
Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the city was engaging the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) over the matter.
“We have received 15 refuse compactors out of 30. The 15 are still in South Africa pending payment of forex. We are talking to RBZ on a weekly basis, making a follow up on the forex applications which we have done, but we have not received anything from them for the past two months. They are citing shortage of forex in their coffers,” he said.
“We remain hopeful that the central bank sees reason in funding service delivery assets especially at this time when all arms of government are operating at full throttle to incite and excite investors to come to Harare. A clean city talks a million words of encouragement to investors.”
FAW Group chief executive officer Mr Patrick Masocha is on record saying the availability of foreign currency had been the major impediment.
“As for the remaining trucks, we will certainly be able to bring them in a period of less than three weeks if we get forex allocation again,” he said.
“The main challenge we have is the foreign currency if we get it we will deliver them because we have the trucks in stock in South Africa. Our finance people would be conversant of the required foreign currency component.”
Government, in May last year, approved a request by Harare City Council to borrow $30 million to buy additional refuse trucks and equipment for road maintenance.
The money is also being used to revamp parks and cemeteries, capacitate the city’s architect, waste management, Harare Municipal Police, traffic law enforcement and valuation, and estates, among other departments. The Herald