Harare(New Ziana)-Government has devoted and ring- fenced five percent of excise duty on fuel to finance the rehabilitation and dualisation of the Beitbridge- Harare- Chirundu highway, Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.
Presenting the 2020 National Budget Statement in Parliament, Prof Ncube said it was critical for government to secure additional funding for the multi-billion dollar project, an important transport artery for the region.
“Notwithstanding that Treasury has channelled substantial resources collected from IMTT (tax on electronic money transfers) towards road rehabilitation, the Department of Roads remains incapacitated to undertake major road construction and rehabilitation projects.
“This had undermined rehabilitation and dualisation of the Beitbridge – Harare- Chirundu highway which Government has undertaken to fund from internally generated resources. It is therefore critical to secure additional resources for the Beitbridge – Harare- Chirundu highway, which facilitates the movement of goods along the North- South Corridor.
“I therefore propose to ring- fence 5 percent of excise duty revenue collected on fuel towards the construction and rehabilitation of Beitbridge – Harare- Chirundu highway with effect from 1 January 2020,” he said.
Rehabilitation and dualisation of the road has been on the cards for years now, but the project has failed to take off due to funding challenges.
Prof Ncube said the government’s road development programme, which commenced in 2018, would be sustained next year with resources already set aside, mainly targeting the Harare- Beitbridge road.
“Dualisation and upgrading of the Harare-Beitbridge road, ZWL$1 billion, ongoing upgrading works on trunk road, ZWL$1.2 billion. Rehabilitation and maintenance of rural feeder roads through DDF (District Development Fund), ZWL$120 million and local authority roads funded through ZINARA ZWL$510.8 million.
“The above excludes resources being channelled to local authorities through the Inter- Governmental Fiscal Transfers for roads infrastructure development,” he said.