BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is struggling to carry out its road maintenance programmes across the city due to the unavailability of fuel and financial resources, a report has revealed.
According to a report by the environmental management and engineering services committee, 70% of Bulawayo’s road network is in bad state and needs urgent attention, but the city council does not have the resources to rehabilitate them.
BCC engineering services director Simela Dube said their efforts to rehabilitate the roads were being constrained by inconsistencies in fuel deliveries.
“Even though there was an allocation of tar from their sources, the deliveries were erratic. Further, road maintenance was affected by fuel shortages. Most of the diesel acquired was being channelled towards water,” the report read.
Initially, Dube said council had agreed to do 5km per ward, but the cash-strapped municipality was, however, unable to meet their promise.
“The budget is limiting progress to only five wards per year, hence the programme will stretch to 2021.”
The report also advised councillors to revisit the programme so that they reduce the roads rehabilitation stretch from the proposed 5km to about 2,5km per ward. That, the report said, would increase the number of wards to be covered per year.
“He (Dube) pointed out that 70% of roads were currently in bad shape and needed urgent attention. The unavailability of diesel was a major constraining factor on all road maintenance programmes.”
Bulawayo needs capital investment to the tune of $69 million annually for the rehabilitation of road infrastructure.
Environmental management and engineering services committee chairperson Alderman Norman Hlabani said the state of the economy was affecting progress on the rehabilitation of roads.