Bulawayo councillors defer decision on new quarry mine

Bulawayo councillors have deferred a decision on whether to operationalize a quarry mine in Cowdray Park suburb which will be run by road construction company, Bitumen World. 

The quarry mine is set to provide materials for the rehabilitation of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. 

According to the council minutes, the land where the mine is located belongs to the city council and they (BCC) are supposed to establish a wastewater treatment plant therein to service the suburb of Cowdray Park. 

The minutes highlighted that Director of Town Planning, Wisdom Siziba, cited that there was enough space for both operations to take place, but, councillors raised concerns that the place was too close to the residential area and were worried that residents would be affected as was the case in Pumula North where a Chinese mine is carrying out similar operations. 

During a full council meeting held on Wednesday, Proportional Representation Councilor Nokuthaba Sibanda moved a resolution to open the quarry mine.

However, the Town Lands and Planning Committee Chairperson, Ward 14 Councilor Dumisani Netha, argued that the committee needed more time to resolve the issue.

“We decided in our meeting that we are not moving the resolution for the quarry mine because of what happened in Pumula North. There is a similar mine there. We are saying there is a possibility that a similar situation may occur in Cowdray Park,” Councilor Netha said.

Councillors are divided on the issue, with some arguing that the mine would benefit the city and the nation, while others are concerned about the impact on residents and workers at the nearby sewer works.

The issue has been deferred pending a site visit to establish the facts and ensure that any mining activities comply with the Council Policy on Urban Mining.

“We decided that we would refer the matter back to the committee as a whole and deliberate further, so hopefully after our next meeting we may have come up with a conclusion on the way forward,” said Cllr Netha.

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