ROAD Development Agency (RDA) acting chief executive officer Kanyuka Mumba has said the agency needs K4.5 billion annually to maintain the country’s road network.
And Mr Mumba said RDA is looking at ways to empower local contractors to ensure that they get a bigger share of local contracts.
He said this on Tuesday night during a programme dubbed “Roads at 50” on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
“From our estimates and from the maintenance backlog we have, we should be spending
K4.5 billion every year if we are to bring the road network to a maintainable condition,” Mr Mumba said.
He said the agency has identified road authorities that will be appointed to ensure that the road maintenance strategy, which was launched last Thursday by Minister of Works and Supply Yamfwa Mukanga, is implemented.
“In future we wish to see that there is dedicated fund reserved just for maintenance,” Mr Mumba said.
He said the agency also intends to equip the regional offices with more equipment so that they can respond to small cases of road maintenance works like potholes unlike hiring a contractor, which is expensive.
Mr Mumba said the agency has also identified risks that can threaten the maintenance programme and one of them is funding, which is a huge factor.
He said the country is only spending 21 percent of what it should be spending on the road network, which he said is a major risk.
And Mr Mumba says RDA is looking at ways to empower local contractors to ensure that they get a bigger share of local contracts.
He said RDA is developing the local contracting enhancement strategy aimed at developing local contractors.
Mr Mumba said local contractors have been crying foul because most of the money is going to foreign contractors.
“In future we want to have Zambian contractors going across to other countries to do works there,” Mr Mumba said.
Zambia Daily Mail