Bulawayo engages Mauritius firm over $23mln roads project

Bulawayo engages Mauritius firm over $23mln roads project

BULAWAYO, April 11 (The Source)—The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is in talks with a Mauritius company, Loita Capital Partners International, to rehabilitate the city’s roads in a deal worth $23 million, latest council minutes have shown.

Financial director Kimpton Ndimande told a full council meeting that the city fathers had met Loita and its contractor for the project, Intertoll — a subsidiary of South Africa’s Group Five — last month and that the council had been asked to sign enabling documents.

Ndimande said Intertoll submitted a proposal for the implementation of a light roads rehabilitation programme worth $7,5 million over a period of five years and the concurrent implementation of a heavy roads rehabilitation programme worth $16 million over the same period.

“Intertoll would manage the project while subcontracting 100 percent of the works to local companies. Funding for the two programmes would come from Loita International,” he said.

Ndimande, however, said before Intertoll could engage Loita and secure the requisite funding for the project, they requested council to sign an Expression of Interest Letter, a Mandate Letter and a Preferred Contractor’s Letter of Appointment.

During the deliberations, it came out that Loita Capital Partners was an intermediary between the contractor and financiers.

Ndimande confirmed that signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was not a guarantee that council would receive funds from the company.

Bulawayo needs capital investment in the region of $69 million per annum for the rehabilitation of its road infrastructure which is in a general state of neglect.

According to council’s road rehabilitation and maintenance strategy, 70 percent of the road network in the city and its environs is in a poor state and requires urgent rehabilitation.