Parly committee mulls road levy for mines
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