ZB Bank to float $40m bond for roads re­hab

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - ADVERTORIAL/NEWS - Liv­ing­stone Marufu Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Zinara) will float a $40 mil­lion bond through ZB Bank be­fore the end of this year, which will be ap­plied to­wards road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

This comes as half of the coun­try’s road net­work was ex­ten­sively dam­aged by heavy rains last sea­son.

ZB Fi­nan­cial Hold­ings chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Ron Mu­tanda­gayi said an ear­lier bond to raise $60 mil­lion in Au­gust was a suc­cess.

The funds raised from pre­vi­ous bond is­sues were com­mit­ted to the Emer­gency Road Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Pro­gramme, which saw most of the roads across the coun­try be­ing re­ha­bil­i­tated.

Mr Mu­tanda­gayi told The Sun­day Mail Busi­ness that fur­ther bond is­sues would be floated on the mar­ket be­fore year end.

“We have floated the $60 mil­lion and we are plan­ning to float the re­main­ing amount of $40 mil­lion any­time soon, be­fore De­cem­ber.

“We would like the funds to be dis­bursed at a time when Zinara are still re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing road net­works ahead of the forth­com­ing rainy sea­son,” said Mu­tanda­gayi.

On Fe­bru­ary 24 this year, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe of­fi­cially de­clared a state of dis­as­ter on the coun­try’s roads and in­fra­struc­ture and soon af­ter, the Emer­gency Road Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Pro­gramme, which was di­vided into two phases, was launched.

Phase One of the pro­gramme fo­cuses on pre­serv­ing in­tegrity of the cur­rent net­work by re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing the drainage sys­tem, patch­ing pot­holes, clear­ing cul­verts and re­pair­ing bridges while the sec­ond phase en­tails pe­ri­odic main­te­nance, re­grav­el­ling, re­seal­ing and re­con­struc­tion of bridges.

Gov­ern­ment bud­geted $148, 8 mil­lion for the two phases to be funded through $100 mil­lion from the Zinara In­fra­struc­ture Bond, $15 mil­lion from the fis­cus and $33,8 mil­lion availed un­der the Road Fund ad­min­is­tered by Zinara.

Zinara col­lects around $130 mil­lion an­nu­ally from road ac­cess fees, ve­hi­cle li­cens­ing fees, tran­sit fees and fuel levy, among other rev­enue streams. How­ever, the re­sources are of­ten in­ad­e­quate to cover the roads fund agency’s obli­ga­tions.

The re­cent Visual Road Con­di­tion and In­ven­tory Sur­vey, which was con­ducted in 2016-2017 by the coun­try’s road author­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Zim­babwe Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (Zilga), con­cluded that $5,5 bil­lion was needed to bring the coun­try’s road net­work to traf­fi­ca­ble state, as 30 per­cent of the to­tal road net­work is “in poor to very poor con­di­tion”.

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