A game plan for trans­port sec­tor

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

we are mov­ing fast.

Pro­vin­cial and res­i­dent engi­neers are busy devel­op­ing roads, so th­ese are also in­cluded in the trans­port mas­ter plan, which takes care of those sec­tors.

When roads start mov­ing again this will as­sist in em­ploy­ment and also in busi­nesses be­ing able to be ef­fi­ciently run in terms of to­bacco, in terms of agri­cul­ture, min­er­als transportation.

Roads are a very ef­fec­tive way of build­ing to­wards Vi­sion 2030.

Avi­a­tion

We are look­ing at the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity of Zim­babwe and un­bundling it to be in line with the Chicago Con­ven­tion of 1944, to make sure there is no con­flict of in­ter­est and that they op­er­ate ef­fi­ciently.

We want to have the Air­ports Man­age­ment Com­pany and the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity, which will be a reg­u­la­tory board. So we are also look­ing at devel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture there.

We are also re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing and ex­pand­ing Robert Gabriel Mu­gabe In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and soon we will be go­ing to Buf­falo Range and Kariba, through ei­ther BOTs or pri­vati­sa­tion or any other (ap­pro­pri­ate) mod­els.

We are now be­gin­ning fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies on th­ese projects, which is part of our mas­ter plan. Be­cause of de­vo­lu­tion, each prov­ince has to have a prop­erly func­tion­ing air­port that is de­signed to land 737s.

Then af­ter that, we will go down to aero­dromes and then airstrips.

This again will as­sist in Vi­sion 2030 be­cause it helps with de­vo­lu­tion and ac­cess to tourist des­ti­na­tions.

When min­ers are do­ing ex­plo­ration work, they re­quire airstrips as well.

We are also work­ing on Air Zim­babwe; we need it to fly. We have put it un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion, and we are work­ing with the ad­min­is­tra­tor and I think so far he has done very well in terms of com­ing up with struc­tures.

I will be tak­ing them to Cab­i­net for dis­cus­sion and ap­proval so that we see the way for­ward for Air Zim­babwe.

We want it to be up and run­ning as quickly as pos­si­ble.

It’s one of the ar­eas be­sides the roads that I am pas­sion­ate about be­cause I want to see it fly.

Air Zim­babwe and Zim­babwe Air­ways are all Govern­ment com­pa­nies. We are work­ing on bring­ing them to­gether so that we have one flag­ship.

We are in the process of do­ing that through the ad­min­is­tra­tor, so it’s al­most done.

On RGM Air­port, con­trac­tors are on site, they are bring­ing in ma­te­rial; there is ac­tiv­ity there as I speak.

Over the next three years, the project will be done.

Rail­ways

On the rail­way sys­tem, we took one group on board to see what we can do to­gether to re­vamp the rail­way net­work. We wait to see how this will pan out. We have an in­ter-min­is­te­rial team that is over­see­ing the process. I am go­ing to be briefed in the next week to see how far this has gone and that will be in re­la­tion to NRZ, DIG and Transnet. We want to see if that can suc­ceed. Op­tions are there. At the end of the day, we want our rail sys­tem to be fully func­tional and run again.

If there should be a part­ner, let that be done quickly; if we are go­ing to do it our­selves, we will look at fi­nan­cial mod­els that can suit the lo­cal up­take.

In terms of per­for­mance, com­par­a­tively, with what they have been do­ing be­fore, there is an in­crease in terms of goods de­liv­ery and so forth, they have been do­ing well if we look at it from that per­spec­tive.

They have in­creased their rev­enue, they have in­creased their ton­nage.

This does not mean they have money; they don’t have much, they are still build­ing and ne­go­ti­at­ing with their work­ers. Re­mem­ber, it was a hot thing. They are hop­ing they will in­crease from what we are work­ing on now, try­ing to get an in­vestor and try­ing to see how they can in­crease ef­fi­ciency.

Bet­bridge-Chirundu

On Beit­bridge-Chirundu, we are in dis­cus­sions with An­hui For­eign Eco­nomic Construction Com­pany Lim­ited.

We have started work by our­selves through mo­bil­is­ing our lo­cal re­sources.

We have trans­ferred money from Zi­nara through a bond we have there for this project so that work can start as soon as pos­si­ble in the next cou­ple of weeks.

As a de­part­ment, we have been do­ing it, we are work­ing on Mutare High­way, Nor­ton to Gweru are be­ing done through a sim­i­lar model.

We are work­ing on so many roads as a de­part­ment, so we have started work.

We are not wast­ing time. I want to make sure that we have started hit­ting the ground run­ning.

We have a mas­ter plan that we are work­ing on which in­clude the lo­cal­i­sa­tion of many other is­sues. But which­ever way, we have started now.

While we are ne­go­ti­at­ing with Afecc, our roads de­part­ment has taken over and ob­vi­ously we will in­clude the lo­cal con­trac­tors in our pro­gramme.

What that means is that the scope of work will be re­duced when we reach our point of agree­ment, but we have started.

In terms of time­lines, I am say­ing within the next few weeks we should be on the ground. Just to start, $60 mil­lion has been re­leased.

Govern­ment has taken a stand to du­alise the road and that is what we will do; we will do it in phases but the ul­ti­mate goal is to du­alise.

We have a pro­gramme and we have phased the im­ple­men­ta­tion and we sub­di­vided it into seg­ments which con­trac­tors can play a role.

But that is de­tail to be fi­nalised within the next few days.

Zi­nara

The au­dit is now with the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s Of­fice. It is a huge doc­u­ment. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions will be looked into.

We are in the process of set­ting up a new board at Zi­nara and the new board will be tasked with all th­ese mat­ters.

So I think within the next week we should have the board in place.

Most of th­ese is­sues, the new board will have to take care of, in­clud­ing the is­sue of man­age­ment and staffing.

Def­i­nitely, there is need for re­struc­tur­ing; this is why we want to make sure that there is a board that has integrity and able to meet this kind of chal­lenge — mak­ing it an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has integrity.

VID Cor­rup­tion

The cor­rup­tion at VID is mainly be­cause most of the pro­cesses there are done man­u­ally and there is too much hu­man in­ter­face.

So we are putting up a com­put­erised man­age­ment sys­tem that will elim­i­nate al­most 70 per­cent cor­rup­tion.

Very soon we will be in­tro­duc­ing the learn­ers driv­ers li­cence com­put­er­i­sa­tion sys­tem.

Dif­fer­ent can­di­dates will not write the same ques­tion pa­per at the same time; they will be dif­fer­ent pa­pers in one sit­ting.

You go into a booth for seven min­utes where there is a com­puter where you punch in your an­swers.

The com­puter does the mark­ing and gives you your re­sults there and you col­lect your pro­vi­sional li­cense.

The same com­put­er­i­sa­tion will as­sist us be­cause we are in­te­grat­ing with Zi­nara, ZRP and other stake­hold­ers.

For in­stance, if your ve­hi­cle has been found to be de­fec­tive, and you use it on the roads, the sys­tem al­lows us to see the his­tory of the ve­hi­cle and link it to any other of­fences which you may have com­mit­ted.

So, cor­rup­tion is be­ing wiped out through com­put­er­i­sa­tion.

Then we are mov­ing to the ed­u­ca­tion part of it.

We need to make sure that driv­ing schools are also stan­dard­ised.

They can­not con­tinue to be as ba­sic as they are now, so there are go­ing to be a lot of changes.

We will have th­ese new stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions in place soon.

For road test, the ex­am­in­ers will be picked at ran­dom through a com­put­erised sys­tem to help deal with cor­rup­tion.

Govern­ment ve­hi­cles

That is­sue (of pro­cure­ment of Govern­ment ve­hi­cles) has not been com­mu­ni­cated to us but we know that Govern­ment has put a halt on this is­sue so that it can be planned prop­erly.

Ob­vi­ously there is need to sup­port the lo­cal in­dus­try, but we will have to wait to get the proper po­si­tion.

I will sup­port lo­cal pro­cure­ment of ve­hi­cles. Honourable Joe Big­gie Ma­tiza is the Min­is­ter of Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment. He was speak­ing to The Sun­day Mail’s Lin­coln Towindo and Nor­man Muchemwa

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