Coltart calls for devolution funds to address road crisis

Bulawayo mayor, David Coltart, says the city needs a minimum of US$15 million per annum to maintain its road network.

The city’s 2400km road network is in a deplorable state, requiring urgent rehabilitation. The local authority is on record stating that it needs at least US$700 million to bring the network to good condition.

With the approaching rainy season, there are concerns that the road network will get worse.

Speaking after a special meeting held in council chambers yesterday to elect the deputy mayor, Coltart said the solution to having improved roads in the city lies in the devolution of funds and vehicle licensing fees.

“The ultimate solution is that the city gets the benefit of car license fees, the government reversed that several decades ago and when you pay for your license here, in the past the money used to come to the city council which was our funds to rehabilitate roads, now that money goes to ZINWA,” he said. “This year so far we have had, I think the figure is US$600 000, we need a minimum of US$15 million just to maintain our roads and that is the fundamental problem regarding potholes in roads in general.”

He said the local authority is just receiving a fraction of the money from ZINARA which is not adequate to fix the roads in the city. “Our citizens are paying a vast amount of money to ZINARA, and we are getting a fraction of that money back for the rehabilitation of roads, until that changes, we are simply not going to have sufficient money to deal with our roads, the collapse of our roads will continue,” said Coltart.

He added that there is a need for a change of policy, “but unfortunately it’s beyond us, it’s a policy implemented by the central government.”

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One Comment

  1. Koze kube nini sisilwa lo Hulumende laye esibophanisa imisila. It’s time Bulawayo citizens make a decision to save our city. We need programs that are by the people, for the people with the people.
    We could create a fund for our roads and council finds an incentive that the can offer back to the people. Eg, if all households of Hofmeyer square where I live, pooled funds and city council came and repaired the road on our square using those funds, then in turn remove part of the dept owned by people on let’s say rates!
    Meanwhile we put pressure on MPs to fight for the ZINARA fund. Izasifica phambili!

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