Council wants help from corporates to maintain city roads

Bulawayo councillors say there is a need to revive the ‘Adopt a Road’ policy to enlist corporates and individuals to assist the local authority to maintain its roads.

The policy was proposed in 2017 to help maintain and beautify sections of the city’s road network through community members volunteering to sponsor road rehabilitation works at no cost to the council.

Contributing to a debate on the state of roads during a full council meeting on Wednesday, Ward 8 Councillor Edwin Ndlovu said the local authority needs to adopt innovative ways to rehabilitate its roads.

“We should be innovative and engage stakeholders with businesses along the roads, we should speak with them so that they can fix the roads and maybe get rebates from rates and so-fourth rather than us discussing who is going to fill up the potholes with gravel dispatched by the council and how,” said Cllr Ndlovu.

He said dispatching gravel for pothole patching is a temporal measure hence the need for Bulawayo City Council to come up with long term solutions.

“I am encouraging the local authority to be innovative and approach business people with roads in front of their businesses so that they can adopt them. For example, there is a business person with a business in Hillside who once asked me whether it’s possible for the council to give them the opportunity to fix the road so that the clients coming to his hotel travel well.’

In response, Mayor Solomon Mguni urged the business community to approach the local authority as there is an existing policy for such arrangements.

“Tell them to engage the department because that policy is there, they adopt a road, remember you may not be aware of the existence of that policy, it’s there,” said Mguni.

In a related matter, Ward 5 Councillor Felix Mhaka said residents in his ward should be allowed to erect boom gates as a crime-busting measure.

“In terms of innovative thinking, why can’t we come up with boom gates because of the issue of crime rate in our areas? I think it’s high time they go to that level where they may start to erect boom gates and start operating from 9 pm maybe to 6 am because we are having foreign visitors coming in and out,”  he said.

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