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BPRA weekend activity report: 9-10 March 2013
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
March 11, 2013

This past weekend (09 &10 March 2013), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) held three consultative meetings in Pumula South (Ward 27), Gwabalanda (Ward 16) and Njube (ward 12). The meetings were meant to provide platforms for residents to engage in dialogue with representatives from Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) on pertinent issues of service delivery related to the operations of the institutions. ZESA representatives however did not attend the meetings. The meeting in Pumula South was held on Saturday 9 March 2013 and was attended by the councillor for the ward, Siboniso Khumalo and eighty three residents (38 Females and 45 Males). The one in Gwabalanda was also held on Saturday 9 March 2013 and was graced by the councillor for ward 15, Israel Mabaleka and attended by 78 residents (32 Males and 46 Females). Lastly the meeting held in Njube on Sunday 10 March 2013 was attended by 112 residents (80 Females and 32 Males). The councillor for the ward was not present, but the meeting went ahead as planned with residents voicing their concerns on service delivery issues.

The main issues discussed at the three meetings were as follows:

  • Bulawayo’s water crisis inevitably dominated discussions at all the meetings. Residents demanded to know if there were any plans to build new dams in Bulawayo. They argued that Bulawayo’s water woes were due to lack of vision by successive governments and local authorities since independence. They said it was inevitable for the city to face water shortages since there had been no dam built since 1976. Residents also expressed concerns with the fact that Bulawayo’s water chemicals are running out. They called upon BCC to resolve the issue immediately to make sure that residents have access to clean drinking water.
  • Residents once again alleged that the local authority’s water billing system was flawed as they continued to receive high bills despite water shedding for 3 days a week. Some of the residents revealed that their meter readings were not in-sync with readings at BCC. They said this was an indication that residents were being fleeced by use of estimates. They called upon BCC to invest in meter readers and refrain from estimated readings.
  • Concerns were raised that BCC was continuing to attach and seize the properties of some residents with arrears. Residents said while they understood that this was the legal route to take, they believed that BCC was being inconsiderate by failing to understand that the country’s economic situation was dire thus residents genuinely cannot afford to pay their dues. They implored the local authority to allow residents to make payment plans as opposed to seizing their properties.
  • Residents also complained about the poor state of roads in Bulawayo. They said the situation could lead to increase in road carnage as motorists often flout traffic regulations in an attempt to avoid pot holes.
  • Lastly, residents bemoaned the failure by BCC to collect refuse on a weekly basis as used to be the case yesteryear. They said it was imperative for the local authority to refocus its attention to service delivery as opposed to staff salaries

Visit the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association fact sheet

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