Wilson Dakwa, Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has stepped up efforts to shift from using conventional energy to using renewable green energy and in the process reduce costs.
Speaking on the sidelines at the International Project Management Day on Thursday, city mayor Councillor Martin Moyo said the local authority will soon erect solar street lights in suburbs which are to be electrified.
“We are trying to move towards reducing our electricity bill by migrating from conventional energy to using renewable green energy. Solar traffic lights are part of the strategies which we have put in place for us to achieve this. “ln the process of installing solar systems, the idea is to move towards using Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights which don’t consume much energy. We will install solar street lights in areas where there are no street lights such as in Cowdray Park,” said Clr Moyo.
Addressing delegates Clr Moyo said promoting projects leads to development and improvement of the nation’s esteem and citizens. He also acknowledged Government’s efforts to reduce Zimbabwe’s low rate of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“Zimbabwe is in an impoverished state because we have kept project managers idle. This needs to be rectified because projects are synonymous with investment and development. Investment and development translate to economic activity and employment opportunities to communities. Lack of projects leads to poverty and decay.
“Investment is needed but the challenge is that as nationals, we don’t have the money. We therefore have to attract foreign investments because lack of investment is a problem which we need to appreciate and address. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) offer incentives like tax exemption for investors which is meant to reduce the cost of doing business for the investors,” he said.
Clr Moyo said BCC will engage project managers to assist with the Basch Street Mall Project.
He said council needs about $200 million for the rehabilitation of sewage and water facilities.
“We currently have $37 million which we secured from the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and other partners to be used for the rehabilitation project. There is need for us to secure more investors who will fill the funding gap of about $160 million,” said Clr Moyo.
He, however, bemoaned the degradation of roads and infrastructure.
BCC has since embarked on a $3,1 million roads rehabilitation programme under the Rapid Response Approach (RRA) to improve service delivery in the shortest possible time.
South Africa-based project management specialist Mr Jurie Smith urged participants to employ skilled and well trained project managers and also embrace new media technologies.
“Project managers ought to consider embracing social media and software as part of their strategies. Websites have the ability to be accessed by many people and the information has to be up to date and reflective. Digital project management is the future and there is a need to prepare for it,” said Mr Smith. -@WilsonDakwa1