Parly com­mit­tee mulls road levy for mines

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment is set to de­scend on min­ing towns coun­try­wide to as­sess the level of road in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment with the ob­jec­tive of com­pelling the en­ti­ties to in­crease spend­ing on road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee Mr Dex­ter Nduna told Busi­ness Chron­i­cle last week that this was be­ing ne­ces­si­tated by the reluc­tance of min­ing firms in re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing roads.

“We’re cer­tainly go­ing for­ward with vis­it­ing min­ing com­pa­nies across the coun­try in ar­eas such as Mu­toko with a view to as­sess their level of in­vest­ment in roads re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“After the tour, as a Par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee we will present a re­port to the Min­is­ter of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment.

“We will make sure that the min­is­ter en­acts an Act that al­lows them to pay road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion tax that is if they (min­ing com­pa­nies) don’t take heed of the need to in­crease road in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment,” said the Zanu-PF MP.

In the past, Mr Nduna said con­cerns have been raised over the poor state of road in­fra­struc­ture around min­ing towns with the Gov­ern­ment and com­mu­ni­ties hav­ing ac­cused the com­pa­nies of ne­glect­ing so­cial in­vest­ment ini­tia­tives.

“We will en­sure that min­ing houses re­ha­bil­i­tate and sur­face the trunk roads so that they are well main­tained and in cases where the com­pa­nies would cease op­er­a­tions, we also want to see that the trunk roads are left in a bet­ter state than what they would have found them,” he said.

For ex­am­ple, Mr Nduna said gran­ite min­ing op­er­a­tions in Mu­toko have been the source of con­flict with the vil­lagers ac­cus­ing the miner of fail­ing to re­pair roads in the area.

In­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment has been cited as one of the fun­da­men­tals to pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment and turn­ing around the coun­try’s eco­nomic for­tunes.

Es­ti­mates in­di­cate Zim­babwe re­quires about $5 bil­lion in the next five to 10 years for its na­tional road de­vel­op­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion programme.

How­ever, the Gov­ern­ment through the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment has in re­cent years re­ceived lim­ited fund­ing from the Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Zi­nara).

Last year, the al­lo­ca­tion by Zi­nara and Trea­sury was just over $6 mil­lion and this has been the trend pre­vi­ously re­sult­ing in a huge back­log in road main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties.

As a re­sult, this has also seen a poor con­di­tion of the coun­try’s na­tional road net­work.

Mr Dex­ter Nduna

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