Harare to sign R4bn deal with SA company for roads upgrade

2014-03-10 14:56

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Harare – Zimbabwe's capital has agreed to sign a $400-million (R4.3 billion) deal with a South African company to upgrade its dilapidated road network.

The deal will be one of the largest infrastructure investments from a country shunned by Western governments and funding institutions such as the World Bank, because of its failure to repay billions of dollars of debt.

Harare’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will be behind a joint venture involving Harare Roads Development Company and Neo Capital of SA. The project will run for a period of 30 years, the state-owned Herald newspaper said today.

An official from Neo Capital in Joburg said only the company's Chief Executive, Vivien Natasen, will give a response to the report, but he could not be reached for a comment.

"Neo will contribute $400-million to the project. The Harare Roads Development Company will get its revenue from vehicle licence and billboard activities," the Herald reported, quoting minutes of a meeting of Harare's councillors.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and his top officials were out of the country and unavailable for comment.

President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government says it requires $27-billion (R289 billion) – more than twice the size of its economy – to fund a five-year plan to improve basic services and rebuild the impoverished country's infrastructure.

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