Council blames service delivery woes on fuel shortages

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says service delivery in the city continues to suffer due to critical shortages of fuel in the country.

This week the local authority failed to collect waste in most suburbs in the city.

Council needs at least 80 000 litres of diesel and 50 000 litres of petrol to operate per month.

Speaking during a water crisis meeting on Thursday, Chamber Secretary Sikhangele Zhou said fuel shortages have blighted council operations.

“I know that for the past few days we did not collect refuse in some areas because we do not have fuel.

“Also, after we had announced lifting the 48hour water-shedding, some areas in the Northern areas woke up to dry tapes, we have indeed lifted the water-shedding however we continue to experience operational challenges,” Zhou said.

“This will necessitate that sometimes we can’t pump water to your areas for instance on Wednesday we had a power sage and our pumps broke down, as we had this power sage, we had to run around looking for emergency fuel.”

Meanwhile, Minister of State and Provincial Affairs, Judith Ncube said her office has not been informed about these challenges affecting the local authority.

She said the local authority and the Central government have to work together in trying to curb fuel shortages affecting the local authority.

“There is something wrong somewhere, somehow with the linkage between the local authority and central government, when do we come to rescue each other? we cannot have a situation where ambulances and refuse collection trucks are on a standstill when my office has not been notified.

“I remember one time when councillor Mlandu Ncube said they are not collecting refuse and ambulances are not working, I asked him why we had such a situation when they had not communicated with my office,” Min. Ncube said.

“My office and the Mayor’s office should suffer together trying to come with solutions for the people we say we are serving for them not to suffer”.

Minister Ncube said the water crisis committee came at a good time as varous stakeholders in the city will be able to work together to find solutions to the persistent water challenges.

“We appreciate the move by the local authority for this water crisis committee so that at the end of the day there won’t be self-appraisal, at the end of day Bulawayo should be able to look at this stance and say we made it,” Min. Ncube said.

She added that the management, councillors and communities have to work together for the city`s progress. 

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