Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO suffered major development setbacks between 2000 and 2015 due to unforeseen economic decline resulting in the municipal failing to implement proposed projects under its masterplan.
This emerged yesterday during Bulawayo City Council (BCC) 2019-2034 master plan consultation meeting held at the Large City Hall.
The city’s masterplan consultant Mr Job Jika Ndebele outlined projects that were proposed under the previous city’s masterplan of 2000 and 2015 at the meeting.
Mr Ndebele said the council only built 10 percent of the houses that it had projected to build under its 2000-2015 masterplan proposal.
“In terms of residential development, the plan had proposed that there would be 200 000 houses built during the master-plan period. However only 22 000 high-density low-cost houses were developed.
“This is about one tenth of what the plan had suggested,” said Mr Ndebele.
He said despite the failure to achieve the council masterplan projections, notable developments were made in Cowdray Park, Emganwini, Pumula South suburbs in high density suburbs and in Mahatshula medium density residential area.
Mr Ndebele said there was construction of 7 300 houses in Selborne Park and Mqabuko Heights in the low-density high cost houses.
He said social services suffered during the period as the council constructed only five schools from a target of 101 primary and secondary schools while building two clinics in the process.
Mr Ndebele blamed the under development on wrongly predicting the socio-economic political climate.
“In preparing that masterplan a lot of assumptions were made and some of the assumptions were not quite correct. One of the assumptions was that there would be a normal economic situation for 15 years. From 2000 to 2015, expectations in the masterplan were that conditions politically and economically would be stable. But we know what happened,” said Mr Ndebele.
“So, when there were proposals for certain developmental projects those hit against abnormal economic environment situation which arose. However, despite the difficulties in socio-economic and political problems the City of Bulawayo managed to achieve quite a number of things.”
Mr Ndebele said going forward they will engage residents in their various levels to come up with a comprehensive masterplan and how residents want the city to be like in future.
Director of housing Mr Dictor Khumalo, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni, several senior council officials, councillors and residents among representatives from various institutions attended the meeting. — @nqotshili