The Zimbabwean government has spent $465 million rehabilitating road infrastructure in the first 10 months of this year using funds collected through the once contentious Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT).
The government introduced the IMTT, commonly referred to as the two percent tax, in October last year. The tax is charged on a targeted range of electronic money transfer transactions.
Under its Road Development Programme, aimed at improving accessibility and connectivity, the government is upgrading the country’s 98 133 kilometre road network using a phased approach due to financing challenges.
Years of little to no investment in road infrastructure had led to a serious deterioration of the country’s highways, some of which had become death traps.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube today said that road development opened up economic opportunities especially for inaccessible regions.
“Investment in a well-connected road network is good for both business and balanced development in the country,” Ncube said.
“It opens up previously inaccessible areas whilst also crowding in private sector investment to our growth points and service centres, thereby stimulating economic and social development for our rural communities.”
The funding has among others been channeled towards road reconstruction, upgrading and rehabilitation, construction of bridges, dualisation of some targeted sections, low cost surfacing mostly rural roads as well as rehabilitation of some airstrips.
At least $900 million was required to fund targeted road development programmes across the country this year.
Besides the IMTT funding, road development is ordinarily funded through the road fund administered by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.- New Ziana