The Trans African Concession (TRAC) – if it hasn’t yet done so – is in the process of making history in the Republic of Mozambique for the daring with which, it seems, is facing the Mozambican State in the matter of the connection of the Circular Road of Maputo to National Road Number four (EN4).
Translated by Francisco Chuquela
In 2011, the Mozambican government and the government of the People’s Republic of China launched a project named “Circular Road of Maputo” to relieve traffic in Maputo city. The work began in 2012. The project costs more than US300$ million, most of which were loaned out by China Exim-Bank, which is the Chinese State-owned bank, which means that the Mozambican State will have to pay this amount.
The construction, with a construction deadline of 30 months, was taken over by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CBRC), which is completing the construction of the Maputo/Katembe bridge.
In order to make road feasible and to relieve the government from the maintenance costs, the introduction of tolls was conceived.
It turns out that to date, the “circular”, as it is popularly treated, still doesn’t have a single toll and the controversial works of the connection bridge with EN4 are inexplicably paralyzed!
The issue of the construction of the Tchumene node in the municipality of Matola, which should allow the connection between the EN4 and the “circular”, has been surrounded by noise since 2016 and, at that time, even dates have been advanced but heretofore nothing happens, with all the resulting damages, at a time when the greatest extension of the road is already being used by motorists at zero cost, which means that it is being wasted without power, still serve the objective fully for which it was conceived by the Government of Mozambique because of interests that are apparently unrelated to the development of this country.
At that time, 2016, it was already advanced that works should have finished or are in their final phase, but “only now” will begin, due to the dragging of the negotiations between the National Highway Administration (ANE) and TTRAC, concessionaire of EN4.
It is public that the concession agreement of EN4, provides that the opening of any road that could make TRAC’s business unfeasible is duly discussed and should materialize only after an understanding.
At that time, Fenias Mazive, director of the Maintenance Center and representative of TRAC in the country, said that the parties have already understood the construction of the Tchumene node, so that at any moment Maputo-Sul, the public entity responsible for the project, may start the works.
Since Mazive has missed the truth as not, the truth is that, two years later, everything remains the same, the “circular” project of the Mozambican Government is officially inaccessible from the EN4 for interests that have nothing to do with the State In this perspective, the question that arises is: How much of the law will allow the authority of the State to be questioned because of issues like these?
The N4 is part of a broad concept of the Maputo Development Corridor, designed to promote trade between Mozambique and South Africa.
The primary intention of the road was to stimulate the development of the industry in the region of Mpumalanga, giving it a new and fast access to the sea, through the Port of Maputo. Initially, the road went from Witbank to the Port of Maputo, but the necessities determined that the route was extended to Pretoria, adding a hundred kilometers to the initial route.
TRAC was selected through an international tender to manage the project for 30 years in the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) system, which means to build, operate and transfer the infrastructure to the Mozambican State, at the end of the contract. means that, under the modus operandi of this concessionaire, it was at no time allowed to render projects unviable and to jeopardize the development of a country whose independence cost sacrifice of a people. The silence of Maputo-Sul also frightens!