Byo residents demand improved service delivery in 2024 budget

Bulawayo residents have urged the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to prioritise urgent service delivery issues in their 2024 budget. 

The local authority has unveiled a proposed budget of US$264 064 416 million for 2024 

 Speaking during a stakeholder’s budget consultation meeting held at Large City Hall on Wednesday, a resident who identified himself as V Ncube said he was hoping that the local authority will in its 2024 budget prioritize specific services. 

“I am not actually refusing all that has been said but I am saying for us to make proper progress we could prioritise certain services and pay immediate attention to roads, maybe we could have a smooth movement because things have gone so bad and since everything is so bad we cannot accomplish everything,” said Ncube. 

Ward 4 resident, Mr Msimanga said the local authority needs to revise its proposed 2024 budget if it wants to improve service delivery in the coming year.

“I was listening to the presentation and I am asking myself, the budget for 2023 and 2024 are almost the same, nothing has changed so are we not shooting ourselves in the foot because in 2023 there is absolutely nothing to write home about in terms of service delivery.”

“We are taking the same budget and we move it to next year, does that make any sense, it worries me, we are expecting different results but using the same tactics, so I think we need to relook at that because there is absolutely nothing from any department to write home about in terms of roads, clinics, salaries but our budget is still the same with this year’s budget,” said Msimanga. 

Another resident who stays in the suburbs said they are not benefitting from being part of the CBD. 

“I don’t understand why we are paying rates of US$200, as far as I understand the suburbs are part of the CBD area, but we don’t get the benefits of the CBD area, we get water once a week, the CBD never has water cuts,” she said 

Meanwhile, addressing residents’ concerns, acting Town Clerk Sikhangele Zhou said the local authority has specific areas on which the 2024 budget will focus. 

“While there are a lot of things that need to be done, there is a focus to say we are zeroing down on for this year so that we can at least have some achievements. Water is at the top of it and in this instance, we are trying to improve our reticulation system ” she said. 

“We are zeroing down on trying to manage water, try to purchase equipment that is urgently needed for refuse collection, and also on roads to attend to the major roads, connector roads and small roads within our wards so that at least all of us can drive in our areas. 

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