HARARE, March 10 Zimbabwe's capital Harare has
agreed to sign a $400 million deal with a South African company
to upgrade its dilapidated road network, the state-owned Herald
newspaper said on Monday.
The deal would be one of the largest infrastructure
investments in 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, whose affairs are run by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, would set up a joint venture firm, Harare
Roads Development Company, with Neo Capital of South Africa to
run the project for a period of 30 years, according to the
An official at Johannesburg-based Neo Capital said only the
company's Chief Executive Vivien Natasen would give a response
to the report, but he could not be reached by Reuters for a
"Neo would contribute $400 million for the project. The
Harare Roads Development Company would get its revenue from
vehicle licence and billboard activities," the Herald quoted
minutes of a meeting of Harare's councillors as saying.
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 - 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.
(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by David Holmes)