Council suspends community working groups due to funding constraints

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BULAWAYO – The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has suspended community working groups due to funding constraints, the latest council report shows. The move has affected service delivery in the different wards.

According to the Environmental Management and Engineering services committee report, the local authority needs at least ZWL$12 million per month for each of the 10 wards.

“There was still no patching from community groups in the month under review due to lack of materials and tools attributed to funding constraints. The patching by Community groups was funded by Council and was targeting minor roads, access roads. The ERRP2 funding did not cater for minor roads,” read the Council minutes.

The local authority also indicated that the pavement rehabilitation program in the Central Business District (CBD) was also still on hold with priority being given to areas bound by Robert Mugabe and Joshua. M.N Nkomo between Leopold Takawira and 10th Avenue.

“The department carried out controlled backfilling of trenches excavated after a burst

occurred on the road carriageway. No backfilling works were carried out during the month under review,” read the minutes.

Reacting to the report, Ward 13 Councillor Frank Javangwe raised concerns that the road infrastructure had collapsed.

“There was no progress with regards to re-gravelling. The program was moving at a slow pace,” said Cllr Javangwe.

Meanwhile, ward 15 Councillor Mzama Dube recalled that the council had missed the 40-day target to rehabilitate drainages.

“The set target could not be met because of shortage of manpower. The manpower and the duration period should be increased in order to achieve the set goals, “said Cllr Dube.

Ward 28 Councillor Kidwell Mujuru also raised concerns that the rehabilitation of the drainage system in Cowdray Park had not been finalised.

“His concern was that the rainy season was approaching and residents lived in fear that the suburb would be flooded again as experienced in the previous years. He requested that the matter be given priority,” read the minutes.

Councillor Rodney Jele sought clarity on the challenges to do stone pitching as residents had committed themselves to provide material and council to provide labour.

He urged the department to look into the issue.

Responding to concerns raised, the Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube said the service delivery had been hindered by a lack of resources.

“Council’s plant and machinery were grounded. There was one grader which was operational. It had been a great challenge to cover the whole city with one grader. He explained that some services were contracted but ended up in disputes with contractors. Because of manpower challenges, the team which attended to stone pitching was the same team that attended emergencies hence the delay in some projects to be finalized,” said Engineer Dube

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