Group Five launches project
CEO Upton says contract bears testimony to group’s significant experience in Africa
GROUP Five has announced the launch of the R1.8bn Infralink road construction contract in Zimbabwe. This coincides with the opening of the Ntabazinduna toll plaza near Bulawayo.
JSE-listed Group Five has announced the launch of the R1.8bn Infralink road construction contract in Zimbabwe.
This coincides with the opening of the Ntabazinduna Toll Plaza near the city of Bulawayo.
The contract is part of a government initiative to upgrade logistics networks in the country, to support expected growth in the economy.
The 822km east-to-west route is one of the first roads to be upgraded, linking neighbouring Botswana through Plumtree, Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare on the Mozambique border.
The Ntabazinduna plaza, 20km outside Bulawayo, is the first of eight toll plazas to be built and operated by Group Five on that route. The seven other plazas will be built and incrementally opened over the next 18 months.
“This contract is a prime example of what can be achieved ... when governments and public and private sectors work together,” Mike Upton, Group Five CEO, said yesterday.
He said the contract bore testimony to the group’s significant experience in working in Africa, its multidisciplinary capabilities, and its ability to support infrastructure from inception through construction, to operations and maintenance.
The group has operations in 18 countries on the continent, with African projects providing about 30% of the current order book.
Group Five implemented its own systems and tolling solutions on the contract. It also said it ensured substantive local Zimbabwean participation in the execution of the work.
Nicholas Goche, Zimbabwe’s minister of transport, communications and infrastructure development, said road infrastructure was vital to enable the country to unlock its economic potential.
“The development of road infrastructure in Zimbabwe pro- motes national trade and efficient ... flow between Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries and ... ports,” he said.
In February, the Zimbabwe transport department commissioned global Dutch group Royal Haskoning to conduct a major road upgrade and tolling study on the 580km Harare-Beitbridge highway.
The study will be carried out in association with five Zimbabwean partner firms. The expected cost of rehabilitating the route is more than $600m, some of which will be funded as a loan against revenue from future tolls.
The study was part of a major upgrading of Zimbabwe’s road system, including the Plumtree to Mutare toll road project under- taken by Group Five.
Royal Haskoning has said the Harare to Beitbridge road is part of Zimbabwe’s trunk road network, the most direct link between Harare and Pretoria, and also provided Zambia access to Durban and Richards Bay.