Bulawayo residents are at risk of being mugged and losing their personal belongings while walking at night as the local authority is struggling to fix street lights due to faulty machinery.
According to the recent Council report of the environmental management and Engineering Services Committee, the high-rise platform vehicle which is used to fix street lights was having mechanical challenges.
“The major challenge was attributable to the faulty high-rise platform vehicle and the delays in the procurement system. Quotations had been done on time within a space of one week. The actual purchasing took a longer period in some cases up to 5 months,” read the report.
The report said there was a need to launch an investigation with regards to the department’s efficiency and council staff should be effectively supervised.
Councillor Tawanda Ruzive noted that public lighting was one of the most essential services.
“The faulty high-rise platform vehicle should be repaired urgently. The process of purchasing vehicle spares such as tyres should not affect service delivery. Residents needed services,” he said.
Meanwhile, ward 4 Councilor Silas Chigora enquired about the procedure for residents offering Council assistance.
“Residents were willing to assist Council in many ways but were being turned down. He also requested Council to attend to reports on time. There were outstanding reports which had not been attended to some faults were very minor,” read the report.
Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo also raised concern about poor street lighting in high-density areas.
“Most of the tower lights had no bulbs. A lot of criminal activities took place in dark areas. Public lighting must be improved in the City,” said the report.
The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube emphasized the need to have good public lighting at night.
“A well-lit city attracted investors. There was a local college which produced electricians. The council could recruit more qualified staff. Residents should also be warned on vandalising Council’s infrastructure.”
The report said Ward 1 was willing to utilise their 3% Ward retention fund to purchase a new high-rise platform vehicle.
“In response Alderman Siboniso Khumalo explained that service delivery was being affected by the national economic meltdown. Council had serious staffing challenges and most of its equipment was obsolete. The issue of tower light bulbs would be looked into accordingly,” read the report.