Financial constraints could hamper BCC master plan implementation

Financial constraints could hamper the Bulawayo City Council’s (BCC) implementation of the ambitious 2019-2034 master plan, which has since been crafted and awaits government approval.

Bulawayo’s current operational master plan was prepared in year 2 000, as a review of the 1982 Master Plan, the first such plan produced in Zimbabwe under the then 1976, Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.

The physical, economic, social and environmental conditions upon which the plan’s proposal were premised have changed hence the crafting of the new.

Under the new master plan, which stretches for a period of a decade and a half, the country’s second largest city, seeks to among other things ensure the availability of suitable land to meet the future needs of Bulawayo until 2034, establish a strong and sustainable local economic base in Bulawayo, ensure adequate and suitable developable land is made available for industrial and commercial activities.

The master plan also seeks to ensure that provision is made for adequate social and community facilities to meet the city’s needs during the plan period, to establish a road network system that allows safe movement for all road users and inter-linked to other transportation modes to ensure good access to all sectors in the city and to develop Bulawayo into an environmentally conscious and environmentally sustainable city.

“The lack of financial resources to implement development proposals is one of the main constraints in the implementation of master plan proposals,” said BCC in the master plan statement.

The local authority said existing and possible sources of funding for the implementation of plan proposals include budget provisions for capital projects, grants or technical assistance, bilateral cooperation programmes, loans from financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, World Bank and local commercial banks that include First Capital Bank, Standard Chartered, Stanbic, CBZ and the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

“The city will continue to seek ways and means of obtaining or raising finances to fund projects, programmes and service delivery,” said BCC.

“The city of Bulawayo will continue to review its incentives package to potential investors  and these incentives include: discounted prices on land based on potential number of employees and rebates on water and rate charges. The incentive package will be constantly reviewed to accommodate the needs of potential investors.”

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