Cabinet considered and approved measures for the elimination of congestion and installation of proper lighting in country’s urban areas as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, as the Chairperson of the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Elimination of Congestion and Installation of Proper Lighting in the Country’s Urban Areas.
As you might recall Cabinet, at its sitting of 11 May 2021, resolved to take deliberate measures to decongest urban centres in the wake of the obtaining traffic chaos, particularly in Harare and its environs. The nation is advised that whilst the programme will be rolled out countrywide, top on the priority list is Harare Metropolitan Province as it is the worst affected in this regard.
To this end, the Inter-Ministerial Committee has drawn up proposed short-term measures to be undertaken to redress the situation.
On infrastructure, Cabinet was advised that local authorities remained responsible for the provision of street lights. Traffic lights at the following junctions, will be repaired within one month:-
Rotten Row/Jason Moyo
Julius Nyerere/Kenneth Kaunda
Harare Drive/E.D. Mnangagwa
New traffic control measures will be implemented at identified junctions to alleviate congestion. On traffic control infrastructure, Cabinet was informed that dedicated bus lanes to ensure preferential treatment of buses, clear carriageway markings for roads and parking bays, erection of no stopping and no U-turn signs, stop signs, give way signs and load restrictions will be marked at appropriate places; and construction of non-mountable kerbing/ jersey barriers would be made at junctions and other critical areas to avoid U-turns or driving over islands.
The roads would be repaired at identified junctions. The roads would be widened to allow at least two lanes in one direction.
The nation is informed that there would be modification of identified roundabouts.
Mbudzi Roundabout is one of the most chaotic roundabouts in the country where immediate decisive action needs to be taken.
It is reported that while the plan is to construct the junction once rehabilitation of Harare-Beitbridge Road has been completed, the emergency works will be undertaken to tie in with the overall plan. In this regard, it was agreed that Treasury avails funding. Councils are also encouraged to ensure that termini facilities are spruced up so that they are not shunned by both transporters and commuters.
On enhanced public transport logistics, Cabinet resolved to support the urgent procurement or hire of an additional 667 buses to enable ZUPCO to provide a more efficient service to all high density suburbs.
ZUPCO is going to revive traditional bus routes, using designated bus stops, adhering to the stipulated bus time table, and improving the electronic payment system. Furthermore, there will be repair of non-functioning traffic management signals, deployment of traffic management system at Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Command Centre; generation of number plates, smart transport solution with cameras will be rolled out in June, and implementation of the tracking system on ZUPCO franchise buses.
Cabinet resolved that in order to enhance public transport service provided through ZUPCO the Municipal Traffic Police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police will carry out enforcement programmes targeted at removing pirate taxis (mishikashika) operating in the Harare Central Business District.
Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Municipal Police will be resourced to enable ZRP to implement traffic enforcement programmes effectively. There will be joint operations between Municipal Traffic Police and ZRP at the intersection.
Municipal Traffic Police will also be trained on how they will operate in the controlling of traffic. Furthermore, impound yards would be established at strategic places along major routes and trading at all Traffic Intersections and along Road Servitudes will be criminalised. — Statement Presented by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at the 15th Post-Cabinet Press Briefing on Tuesday this week.