Ward Six stands as the second biggest contributor to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) budget largely because of its industrial surroundings.
Rates collected from the industrial site balloons the 3% ward retention fund which the city council forwards back to the ward for developmental purposes.
This publication had an interview with the Development Committee Chairperson Mr William Zulu to reflect on the successes and future plans of his committee.
Zulu said one of the major achievements of his committee are the great strides made towards building a primary school in Newton West.
In 2016, government donated land to the community to build a school.
“The land which was donated to us by the government to build a primary school in Newton West has been cleared, fenced and a borehole has been drilled on site through the Community Development Fund which was granted to us by the former Member of Parliament, Mr Eddy Cross,” said Zulu.
He added that this is a community project which will empower the community through creating employment.
“The development committee wants to engage architects, quantity surveyors, contractors and artists in the community to support skills and trades found in the community,” he said.
The Development Chairperson further called upon the community to join hands to assist and support this initiative as it will enhance the well-being of the community.
Zulu also revealed that Inkunzi Beer Garden commonly known as number 5 which was leased to the community by the city council is currently under renovations with the idea to turn it into factory shells which will be used by SMEs from the community.
“When its ready we are supposed to advertise and call community entrepreneurs whether its the youth, elders and everyone in the community who is interested to rent and start their own business there,” said Zulu.
One of the projects in the pipeline is the Bellevue Recreation Club whose lease expired in 2010.
Apparently the Bulawayo City Council is dithering the renewal of the lease but Zulu’s committee is working around the clock to get it renewed under Ward Six so that residents can get sole ownership of the club.
Both the Bulawayo City Council and Ward Six Development Committee have agreed that the facility will be developed using the 3% ward retention fund but the current organization running the place is reluctant to hand over the club to the community.
Zulu also said the Development Committee and the city council are working hand in glove in creating employment for the youth and women through community projects such as grass slashing, road patching and clearing of storm drains amongst other initiatives.
On the issue of children enrollment at local schools, Zulu said some schools were a disappointment as they did not give first preference to children from the community.
He said the committee had engaged Councillor Ruzive, the Councillor for Ward 6 to rectify the issue.
Zulu also took the opportunity to lament politicians who have hijacked the government food aid programme for their own political benefit.
He said: “Its sad to see some well respected members of the community using party muscle to distribute the maize whilst the maize is meant for every deserving member of the community not to party x or y.”
“All people with disabilities and child headed homes must benefit from the scheme.”
Zulu reiterated that Ward Six can develop and be safe guarded only through full participation of all community members.