Byo councillors demand urgent release of funds for road repairs

Bulawayo councillors have called upon the local authority to release funds and resources meant for road repairs on time so that road rehabilitation work may be completed within the specified timeframes.

However, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) stated the authority encountered difficulties in obtaining enough resources at the same time, resulting in the delay in finishing the roads on schedule. 

This issue was noted in the most recent council minutes, in which city councillors discussed the state of roads and the necessity for community groups to augment the work done by BCC in terms of road maintenance. 

In the council minutes, Councilor Rodney Jele stated that gravel deposits on roadside were taking too long to be used to repair roads, resulting in resource waste, while Councilor Arnold Batirai expressed worry about a lack of road maintenance.

Batirai claimed that road maintenance had not been carried out as scheduled since 2018, citing  Ward 24 as an example of where nothing had happened.

“Batirai felt that the department should report on the challenges encountered leading to the failure to achieve what had been planned and the solutions to the problems. The use of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) should be taken seriously and dealt with effectively. It was necessary for the committee to lobby for the purchase of the yellow machines,” read the council minutes.

Councilor Donaldson Mabuto also mentioned how the ERRP programme was implemented without adequate resources, resulting in its failure to follow through on the plans. 

“It was therefore necessary to plan on how to get the resources. Nonetheless with the minimum resources available, work on 1 or 2 wards should be implemented. These small activities had a great impact on the residents,” Mabutho said in the council minutes.

BCC Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube, responded that another difficulty was that just one contractor was on site since other contractors had cancelled their contracts. 

“There is one contractor on site. Some contractors cancelled their contracts. Community groups are on hold due to lack of materials and tools due to funding constraints. All the resources available were channelled to Luveve Road. The department was working with the Procurement and Management Unit (PMU) to acquire material,” the council minutes read. 

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