Price hikes stall high­way fenc­ing project

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Prince Sun­duzani

THE on­go­ing price hikes have stalled the Traf­fic Safety Coun­cil of Zim­babwe (TSCZ)’s high­way fenc­ing project, prompt­ing Gov­ern­ment to give the paras­tatal the green light to im­port the re­quired ma­te­ri­als di­rectly from South Africa.

The TSCZ, a paras­tatal un­der the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment, em­barked on a project to fence off the coun­try’s high­ways last year, as part of mea­sures to re­duce ac­ci­dents on the coun­try’s roads caused by stray an­i­mals.

Speak­ing at the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment strate­gic plan­ning work­shop on Mon­day, the Min­is­ter of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment, Dr Jo­ram Gumbo, said changes in fenc­ing ma­te­rial prices were crip­pling the pro­gramme.

He said sup­pli­ers were in­flat­ing prices by up to 400 per­cent, a devel­op­ment that has also seen prices of ba­sic com­modi­ties be­ing un­jus­ti­fi­ably hiked since Septem­ber.

The min­is­ter urged the TSCZ board chaired by Mr Al­bert Mu­gabe to speed up the perime­ter fenc­ing project, af­ter Gov­ern­ment gave it the green light to im­port ma­te­ri­als di­rectly from South Africa.

“I know that chair­man and your man­age­ment, you have been im­peded by the change in prices for your project.

“Cab­i­net met last week and agreed that where we can­not pro­duce some prod­ucts which will then end up be­ing im­ported from South Africa by some mid­dle­men who end up sell­ing to us with a 400 per­cent mark up, you are also free now to buy from South Africa so as to tame the price mad­ness in in­dus­try that has proven to be in­sen­si­tive to our sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

“So Mr Mu­gabe and your team you can now buy di­rectly some of the barbed wire from South Africa so that you can con­tinue with your very im­por­tant project of perime­ter fenc­ing along most of our roads.”

The min­is­ter hailed the coun­cil for its road safety cam­paigns which he said had re­duced ac­ci­dents on the coun­try’s roads.

The high­way fenc­ing pro­gramme started with the erec­tion of the Bulawayo-Gweru High­way perime­ter fence.

In Au­gust, the TSCZ said it would erect a perime­ter fence on either side of the Bulawayo-Plumtree road by the end of this year at an es­ti­mated cost of $320 000.

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