Mozambican state road and bridge companies to be privatized

17 August 2007

Gondola, Mozambique, 16 Aug – Mozambican state-owned road and bridge companies known as Empresas de Construção e Manutenção de Estradas e Pontes (ECMEP) are to be privatized in an effort to bring an end to the difficulties they face, the Coordinating Council of the Public Works and Housing Ministry (MOPH) decided Wednesday in Gondola, Manica province.

Ministry spokesman, Joaquim Cossa, told journalists that those companies were unable to meet their running costs as they did not produce enough to pay salaries, buy equipment or pay other such charges..

The ECMEP were once considered to be strategic for the road and bridges sector, but over the years have accumulated debts of some 145 million meticals.

According to Cossa, the ECMEP of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane are those that have the greatest debts totaling 126 million meticals, as compared with 15 million for Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado and just 4 million for Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambézia.

Across the country the ECMEP employ over 5,000 workers, of which 2,000 are permanent and the remainder on a contract basis.

In order to draw up the privatization model the MHOP plans to contract a consulting company this year to propose the best methods of implementing this decision, taking into consideration the future of the workers. (macauhub)