MASVINGO - The ground breaking ceremony by President Mugabe for the $998 million Beitbridge-Harare Highway dualisation project has been pencilled for May 5 this year at Chaka.
This was said by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo Senator Shuvai Mahofa during the 37th Independence celebrations held at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo where she read the President's speech to thousands of people in attendance.
"The major road system, on which the country's economic development is heavily dependent is definitely set to improve. We are pleased that the long awaited Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Road dualisation is finally going to start. We are going for the ground breaking ceremony on May 5 so that the project can start.
"The project, which is set to have significant positive subcontracting arrangements to indigenous companies, will see locals earning $400 million. It is also set to boost local production of sourced materials, and is poised to create employment for our people," said Mahofa.
The $400m is part of the 40% which is allocated to locals as subcontractors in the project where they will supply various materials and labour.
The first phase of the dualisation project will cover the 583km stretch from Harare to Beitbridge and the ceremony will be conducted near Shashe River Bridge which borders Masvingo and Midlands Provinces where the highway will pass through.
"We chose the boundary of the two provinces because the road will be passing through Mash East, Midlands, Masvingo and Mat South Provinces and this is almost the midpoint of the provinces," said Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Joram Gumbo.
The road project will be implemented under a built operate and transfer (BOT) 25 year programme funded by the main contractor, Gieger International.