The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) board and executive last week toured the Harare City Council Asphalt Plant. The asphalt plant is for the production of premix, it mixes hot and cold asphalt concrete mix (bitumen and stone aggregates) used for road maintenance and rehabilitation works. The 3 in 1 Plant, also has a Crusher Plant, which, includes the quarry pit and production of crushed stone, with the majority of the product going for use on the City road construction; a concrete products casting yard which is involved with manufacturing of concrete product building materials e.g. bricks and interlocking blocks for road construction, slabs, kerbing, manhole and catch pit covers. ZINARA board chairman Mr Albert Mugabe said that Zinara has grown in leaps and bounds with regards revenue collection. Harare City Council, as a Road Authority received funding of US$650 000 under Phase 1 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme and they committed 75 percent of the amount to rehabilitate the asphalt plant. Rehabilitation works of the asphalt plant commenced on the 3rd of July. Once fully recapitalised, it is envisaged that the Plant will perform at commercial levels in respect of the Asphalt Plant; Crusher Plant and Concrete Products Casting Yard.
"Similarly Disbursements to Road Authorities have been increased drastically, yet there does not seem to be a corresponding improvement on the road network itself. The minister on behalf of all motorists expects to see the road network improving. Zinara's response in this regard is to follow all Disbursements as directed by the Board and ensure that each dollar disbursed is stretched on the road. Where there are problems, those problems should be addressed so that Zinara revenue translates to work on the road," explained Mr Mugabe. The ZINARA board was, however, not satisfied with the state of affairs at the Harare City Council Asphalt Plant but recognised that there was an improvement following utilization of US$487 500 by the municipality to rehabilitate their Asphalt plant. The board, therefore, directed that City of Harare should do everything necessary to ramp up production from the current 30 percent to 70 percent within 45 days because the financial resources have already been availed. Harare City Council Engineer, Pfukwa assured the ZINARA board that they would be able to increase production within 45 days. ZINARA board chairman Mr Albert Mugabe said the board would be touring the Asphalt Plant again in after 45 days wherein an expectation of production at 70 perecnt should be met. Under Phase 1 of the ERRP, Harare City Council plans to patch 396 885 square metres of potholes. To date, the Road Authority has covered 219 258 square metres reflecting 55 percent completion of Phase 1 under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.