Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ONE of the country’s leading land and property developers, Hawkflight Construction has added road construction to its portfolio.
Hawkflight Construction finance manager Mr Obert Masara said the company acquired state-of-the-art road construction machinery from the United States as it bids to offer diversified infrastructure development projects.
“We recently invested in state-of-the-art road surface equipment which we acquired from the United States of America and we are already utilising part of it on our pilot road construction project in Binga with other remaining components having reached the port. Road construction has always been within our scope as we have been mainly carrying out earthworks within our housing projects.
“It’s (road construction) something which has always been coming in terms of expanding our service provisions and brand. Suffice to say, venturing into housing construction was part of our drive as a company to offer solutions with regards to accommodation and now we want to offer a solution to the prevailing road crisis,” said Mr Masara.
The company started work in Binga this month and has set sights at completing before it June. The project is being funded by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and managed by the Binga Rural District Council.
“We intend to offer alternatives when it comes to road construction as we feel there are few players and our coming in is to complement their efforts and we believe there are enough jobs for all of us due to the present state of the roads countrywide,” said Mr Masara.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo recently said the ministry needed to raise $80 million for immediate road repairs after most of the roads were destroyed by heavy rain early this year.
The rains caused widespread destruction in the country especially in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, leaving a majority of areas inaccessible by road. The country has an estimated total road network of 95 000 kilometres, most of which requires extensive rehabilitation.
The Government already has a national road development and rehabilitation programme which requires $5 billion over the next 10 years. Mr Masara said the company intends to partner with local authorities and the Government in rehabilitating the country’s roads.
“As part of our corporate social responsibility we intend to partner with the Bulawayo City Council through adopting a road to rehabilitate because we feel it’s quite a good initiative as we are of the notion that road maintenance is a collective initiative which goes beyond business. We also want to create synergies and a rapport with the local authority as we believe communities are part of our responsibilities and we endeavour to improve livelihoods in these communities,” he said.
The council has proposed an “Adopt a Road” policy to enlist residents and businesses in rehabilitating roads in the outskirts of the Central Business District and residential areas.
The scheme which will be on a volunteer basis is open to residents and organisations at no cost to the council.
In the latest council minutes, the director of engineering services, Engineer Simela Dube, said the local authority was struggling to maintain roads in the city.
The department said there were two ways individuals, groups and organisations could get involved.
“Individuals, groups or organisations could volunteer to undertake the works themselves or could instead pay professional contractors to do the work on their behalf,” reads the report.
Binga Rural District Council chief executive officer Mr Joshua Muzamba said the local authority was satisfied with the work being undertaken by Hawkflight Construction and was optimistic the company would meet its target.
“The company started work in December but incessant rains made it difficult for them to carry out their work and most of the road works was washed away and it resumed work recently and we are satisfied with how they are going about their work and we are also very optimistic that it will meet its target. We believe the road rehabilitation will change the face of our road network at the centre,” said Mr Muzamba.
Since its inception in 2005 Hawkflight Construction has been majoring in construction of houses and servicing of residential stands. In 2013 the company purchased state-of-the-art construction equipment, a concrete roof tile and a clay brick manufacturing machine both from China as well as a VB4X block-making machine for the manufacture of concrete bricks, blocks and paving.