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BPRA weekend activity report: 26 – 27 April 2013
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
April 29, 2013

Bulawayo’s water crisis, the city’s faulty billing system, and failure by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to collect refuse regularly dominated meetings organised by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) this past weekend (27 and 28 April 2013). The meetings, which were held in Old Pumula, Nkulumane, Entumbane and Mpopoma, were aimed at providing platforms for residents to engage in critical discussions with service providers, councillors and Members of Parliament. In Mpopoma residents got an opportunity to be appraised by their Member of Parliament, Samuel Sandla Khumalo on how he utilised the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to develop the region. The ire of the residents was drawn as they were not impressed by what he had to tell them.

Other issues that were raised at the meetings include:

  • Residents complained that their water bills were inflated as they were high despite the fact that they spend three days a week without water. They said it was imperative for BCC to rectify its billing system as residents were being unfairly charged penalties, having their water disconnected and even having their properties seized on the basis of estimated bills. Councillor Rafemoyo in Nkulumane acknowledged that Bulawayo’s billing system was flawed and encouraged residents who receive abnormally high bills to seek redress at the local authority’s offices.
  • Residents were also appraised on Bulawayo’s water situation, with Councillors reminding them of Bulawayo’s dire water situation and encouraging them to use water sparingly. They informed residents that water shedding would continue since the city’s dams did not receive significant inflows during the2012/2013 rain season.
  • Residents alleged that Child Protection Committees (CPCs) were corrupt hence they were not useful as means to identify beneficiaries for social welfare programmes such as the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM). Residents alleged that most people who benefit from such programmes were friends or relatives of members of the CPCs.
  • Concerns were raised at the meetings that Bulawayo was no longer clean, with rubbish strewn all over the place. Residents in Nkulumane revealed that they had resolved to hold a clean-up exercise in their ward on 25 May 2013. Residents said it was imperative for every resident to play his/her part towards maintaining the cleanliness of Bulawayo through refraining from littering.
  • Residents accused BCC of disconnecting water from residents with arrears even in situations where a payment plan has been made. They said this was insensitive arguing that BCC should realise that people have difficulty paying their bills because of high unemployment and low remunerations.

Visit the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association fact sheet

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