Bulawayo City Council is struggling to keep up with the country’s inflationary economy, as it is stalling service delivery and rehabilitation of infrastructure.
City mayor, Solomon Mguni lamented that the local authority has numerous projects to complete but had limited funds to do so, a situation worsened by rising inflation .
In an interview with CITE, Cllr Mguni said the council was also affected by the bureaucratic requirements listed under the new Procurement Act, as they were a drawback to efficient service delivery.
“We are seized with various challenges that affect our road rehabilitation and maintenance programmes. These challenges include funding which falls below maintenance requirements, the erratic supply of bitumen due to foreign currency challenges, erratic fuel shortages and escalations in the price of contracts,” the mayor said.
He also raised concern over the state of vandalism in the city where unscrupulous indviduals destroyed road furniture such as traffic lights and signs.
“It is not easy for the local authority to continuously replace these as contractors nowadays require advance payment for mobilisation and procurement of materials”
Cllr Mguni noted that despite the harsh economic environment, the city council was focusing on maintaining the existing road network but had to minimise construction of new roads.
“Roads in good condition are being preserved through reseals and overlays. Priority is given to the following roads on the basis of a ranking obtained from 2016 Road Condition Survey -Arterials, Collectors, Central Business District roads and public transport routes,” he highlighted.
He also gave an update on the progress of residential stands in Bulawayo citing that ZWD$73 920 587 was needed to complete servicing in outstanding areas.
The mayor said:
Of the 360 stands in Emganwini and 47 in Tshabalala water and sewer systems have been completed although surfacing of roads has not yet been done.
Out of the 144 stands in Woodville, water works were 77 percent complete while roads servicing was 44 percent done.
In Emhlangeni Phase II stands where there are 502 stands, 25 percent of the water works was done but road construction stood at 2.5 percent.
Out of the 217 stands in Highmount, sewer was 99 percent complete, 97 percent of water works completed and 64 percent of roads completed.
Magwegwe West stands now have water, but sewer and road works stand at 70 percent and 30 percent complete respectively.
Cowdray Park Hlalani Kuhle, now has 100 percent water reticulation but sewerage systems are only 24 percent done.
Cllr Mguni said the local authority noted that although the tender to service sewer and water for 77 stands at Selborne Park was recently advertised, work on roads had started and was now at 20 percent.