Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) yesterday unveiled its US$157,99 million revenue budget and is proposing to set aside US$106 million to fund key infrastructural development projects that include construction of classroom blocks, clinics, servicing of stands and and construction of roads among others.
The budget was presented by the chairperson of the Finance and Development Committee Cllr Tawanda Ruzive at the council chambers.
The budget is however subject to approval by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
Clr Ruzive said the 2023 budget will maintain the present US$ tariffs and charges in local currency will be determined by the prevailing exchange rate.
He said residents will pay their bills in either local currency or forex but warned that the stagnant budget will compromise service delivery.
The budget was presented under the theme “Accelerating Economic Transformation “which was built from the National Development Strategy-1.
Cllr Ruzive said the council was pinning its hopes on the continued stable macroeconomic environment which has seen the disparity between the parallel and official rates narrowing following Government policy interventions in August this year.
“City of Bulawayo runs 21 clinics, one hospital, six cemeteries and a crematorium. There are plans to build two more clinics in Cowdray Park and Emganwini with US$200 000 having been set aside to fund the opening of two more cemeteries in Marvel and Pumula South,” he said.
Clr Ruzive said council was also proposing to set aside US$252 000 to fund environmental issues.
He said council also plans to buy computers, rehabilitate buildings, drill boreholes and develop Hume Park during the year.
“A provision of US$175 000 has been made for an Industrial Clinic to cater for Council’s staff. Most clinics have solar panels installed. In the coming year Council plans to secure these panels at 12 council clinics by surrounding them with palisade fencing at combined budget of US$120 000. This will ensure that services continue to be provided and medicines are preserved whenever there is no electricity. It has been observed that the new suburbs and townships lack social infrastructure such as halls or playgrounds or parks. Social gatherings and important feedback and consultative meetings are held in the open thereby exposing the residents and stakeholders to vagaries of weather. It is in council’s plans to build two halls, one in Pumula East and another in Old Lobengula suburb at a combined cost of US$700,000,” said Clr Ruzive.
He said said council will commit a further US$200 000 for the renovations of Sidojiwe flats while US$1 million will be invested in refurbishing Coles Court, Howard Court, Lyndhurst Court, Parkhurst and Tregene Court which are council’s investment properties.
Clr Ruzive said in 2023 council will continue servicing land using the pre-sale model. Council has set aside about US$12 million to service new stands in Emganwini, Highmount, Magwegwe Extension, Umvumila Industrial and Housing Park, Killarney East and Bellevue, Emhlangeni and Pumula East.
He said council will also invest in technology to improve people’s lives and grow the usage of e-services and ICT as it works to achieve its vision of a smart city.
Clr Ruvise said the council will buy a number of IT gadgets including water meters.
“To that end, the capital budget for ICT is US$5 290 263. This amount will be used in procurement of hardware such as personal computers, laptops, tablets, printers, servers, hardware for prepaid metering and other peripheral computer related equipment to enhance Council’s digital interaction with stakeholders,” he said.
The council has also allocated US$15 million for road infrastructure which will see a number of road works being undertaken.
Other funds were allocated for water infrastructure development, that include refurbishment of lower Ncema dam and water works. The council will also undertake youth centred projects.
A class room block for 40 pupils will be built while four youth centres, two vocation training centres will be renovated and a fowl run will be built in Mabutweni suburb.
“In the 2023, Financial year enrolment at council schools is projected to be more than 45 500 and during the year council expects to complete the construction of Vulindlela Primary School in Ward 28 which is being funded by Devolution Funds. Additional classroom blocks will be built at Ngwalongwalo Primary School in Ward 27 and Sizalendaba Primary School in Ward 17,” said Clr Ruzive.
He said council will during the year also refurbish ECD centres and libraries.
Article Source: The Chronicle