Zimbabwe National Road Administration pays $229 billion to  Development Bank of Southern Africa Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara)

Nqobile Bhebhe, [email protected]

THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) committed $229 billion in 2023 towards servicing its loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) secured to finance the rehabilitation of the 860km Plumtree–Harare–Mutare Highway, a firm indication on the parastatals financial discipline in adherence to contractual obligations.

The road agency says the significant payment reduced the outstanding loan balance to an equivalent of US$65 million.

This comes as the Private Public Partnership (PPP) between Zinara and Univern Enterprise continues to yield dividends.

Zimbabwe awarded Group Five, a South African firm, to rehabilitate the 882 kilometre highway, which began in 2012 and funded to the tune of US$206 million.

Under the deal, the money for loan repayment should come from toll gate fees collections but the parastatal defaulted due to foreign currency shortages.

However, due to the efficient data capturing and revenue collection following the PPP, the administration has religiously paid its instalments to the DBSA towards the amortisation of the 10-year loan.

The scope of works on the rehabilitation of the highway, which started during the Inclusive Government era, involved 50 percent resealing, 29 percent shoulder widening and surfacing (7m to 10m), 21 percent reconstruction in some sections and nine percent state-of-the-art tollgates installation.

In his operational overview for the period between January 1 and December 31, 2023, Zinara chief executive officer, Mr Nkosinathi Ncube, said the parastatal had fallen behind in servicing the loan.

However, he noted that under the new Zinara, the loan was restructured and we are now fully regular with our payments.

“Zinara is still servicing the DBSA loan which had previously fallen into arrears in previous years. In 2023, $229 billion was committed towards the DBSA loan repayment. This significant payment reduced the outstanding loan balance to an equivalent of US$65 million.

“Related to this was the $108 billion for the maintenance of the Plumtree-Harare Highway in tandem with operational clauses of the loan agreement. This investment not only ensures the highway’s upkeep but also points to financial discipline in adherence to contractual obligations,” said Mr Ncube.

In the period under review, the agency’s capital expenditure was $6,9 billion and the funds were channelled primarily towards the upgrading of systems, digital transformation and various assets that are integral to enhancing efficiencies.

A year-end surplus of $57 billion represents a healthy financial position for the organisation.

“This surplus made up for seven percent of the expenditures and remained in reserve for road authorities that are yet to access their full budget.

This amount is indicative of sound financial management and provides a buffer for unforeseen expenditure or project,” said Mr Ncube.

Giving a revenue collection update, Mr Ncube highlighted that Zinara collected $868 billion, closing 13 percent above budget.

The revenue mix was composed of 38 percent contribution from all 29 tolling points countrywide while licencing fees contributed 34 percent up from 30 percent in the prior year.

In the period under review, the country had 1,2 million registered vehicles and of these, only 60 percent are regular in terms of licencing compliance.

On average, Mr Ncube said between 135 000 and 150 000 vehicles were licenced monthly last year.

Last year, periodic maintenance projects undertaken accounted for 220 kilometres and rehabilitated roads while 71 km were resealed, 633km were re-gravelled and spot re-gravelling was done on 17, 633km.

Pothole patching saw 6 904 km being attended to and gravel patching constituted 2 197km.

“These works represented 70 percent of the 2023 annual disbursements budget. In terms of routine maintenance, bush clearance covered 23 153 992 square metres while drainage clearing accounted for 273 588 metres and 2 584 culverts were cleaned all in all accounting for 30 percent of the total disbursements budget for 2023,” noted the CEO.

You Might Also Like