Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
THE Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Cde Abedinico Ncube, yesterday expressed satisfaction with the progress made in implementation of Government’s initiative to surface roads in the province.
Treasury has availed $18,7 million to kick-start the surfacing of three major roads in Matabeleland South Province following concerns over the deplorable state of some of the routes in the area.
The project is aimed at resurfacing roads that link the provincial capital Gwanda to the rest of the province.
The road network will span Gwanda, Matobo and Plumtree, Gwanda-Maphisa and Maphisa-Mpoengs.
The Gwanda-Guyu Road construction is also underway.
In a telephone interview, Cde Ncube said the Gwanda–Maphisa Road is regarded as one of the worst in the province and would be prioritised.
“I am delighted that our roads are being resurfaced. The Gwanda-Maphisa Road is one of the worst. Motorists take more than two hours for an ideally 30 minutes drive. Some have resorted to going via Bulawayo to get to Maphisa,” he said.
“The road construction project has also created employment for locals and has been received with joy by villagers in the province.”
Recently, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development Provincial Engineer, Engineer Joseph Mapopote, said the road resurfacing project, which would gobble $30 million, would be implemented in phases.
In fulfilment of the promises made to the electorate, Cde Ncube said Government would implement other projects in the province.
“We are looking forward to the construction of Gwanda State University. We hope the funds will be availed to see the project through,” he said.
“All other projects in the pipeline need an influx of capital. We hope the finance department will avail adequate funds towards the implementation of such projects.”
The resuscitation of industries in the province, said the minister, would attract foreign currency as the province has the capacity to produce high grade goods for local consumption as well as export.
Cde Ncube said the province was endowed with natural resources such as gold.
He said if fully exploited, the mining sector would not only upgrade people’s lives but would help grow the province and the country’s economy.
Cde Ncube encouraged people from the province to acquire necessary documentation before engaging in mining activities to ensure accountability and avoid unnecessary attention from law enforcers.
He said there was a need to revive community irrigation schemes and establish new ones to ensure food security.
“While the province has natural resources, there is a need to develop community irrigation schemes and not only large scale irrigation schemes that are business-oriented. This will go a long way in ensuring that we ensure food security within the province,” said Cde Ncube. —@esinathy _essira