Beitbridge residents have implored the aspiring candidates in the upcoming by-elections to address the issue of water challenges in the border town once they assume office.
The border town has two vacant council seats, wards 4 and 5 following the recall of the then-mayor Morgan Ncube who was Ward 4 councillor and Granger Nyoni who was the Ward 5 councillor.
In an interview with CITE, Beitbridge Residents Association spokesperson Jabulani Makhado reiterated that water woes need to be addressed as residents risk being exposed to water-borne diseases.
“As Beitbridge residents, we implore the local authority to address water shortages in our town. The water supply is not sufficient for all residents and this leads to people going for days without running water,” he said.
“Beitbridge is a border town and also is a corridor for SADC countries. As such we cannot afford not to have water. We have a population of about 78 000 residents excluding those who will be in transit. With such a population it is risky not having sufficient water for health reasons. People get exposed to water-borne diseases.”
Makhado noted that there is need to attend to infrastructure, mainly roads, citing some have become impassable.
“Our roads are in a deplorable state. We need better infrastructure. Some residents have since resorted to parking their cars at car parks far from their houses because the roads are impassable. In some areas, the municipality just offloaded sand and left it like that so now motorists can’t drive past.”
Aspiring candidates who spoke to this publication vowed to address the issues of service delivery and to ensure that outstanding projects are completed.
Ncube who is representing the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said he is rearing to get back to office and finish the projects he was working on in his ward.
Zanu-PF candidate for Ward 4, Lawrence Tshili said he will address the issue of water and litter collection.
“We are having water only once a week which is not fair for the residents. This needs to be rectified. I also intend to address the issue of refuse collection. Of late collection of litter has not been consistent in our ward. As a resident of Ward 4 I am well placed to address the issues faced by the people,” he said.
Ward 5 CCC candidate Nyoni, said there are a number of issues affecting the ward which he was working on before he was recalled from office.
“I was serving as the chairperson of the finance and the staffing committee and there were several projects that we were working on inclusive of sewer management, completion of ranks, drainage blockages and availability of water. Unavailability of funds has stalled most of these projects and at the time of my recalling we were seized with efforts of addressing this,” he said.
“One of the ways which we were working on to improve revenue was to speed up completion of ranks. The local authority is losing a lot of revenue through illegal parking by buses and other forms of public transport. Beitbridge is a border town and there are a lot of people in transit, if this can be maximised on then more income can be generated.”