The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
THE Bulawayo City Council has defended its stance on recreational clubs in the city claiming that all of them were being used for their original purpose, despite a red flag that was recently raised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
Presenting a report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation on the state of youth centres in Zimbabwe a couple of weeks ago, Chivi North legislator, Cde Mathias Chingofa revealed that local authorities in Esigodini and Masvingo had failed to carry out projects despite the allocation of devolution funds by the Government. BCC was singled out with Hartsfield Sports Club in Bulawayo red flagged as one of the venues that is no longer serving its intended purpose.
However, Bulawayo City Council corporate communications manager, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said that the recreational clubs had not diverted from their original use, saying they had just included additional uses.
“It should be noted that social clubs — sports and recreational clubs — in the city have not diverted from their use groups. What is happening is that some of them have included additional uses over and above the authorised ones. The biggest challenge emanating from these has been the noise nuisance. All unauthorised and illegal activities including noise nuisance are dealt with in terms of the conditions of the development permit, lease agreements and the provisions of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act,” said Mrs Mpofu.
Meanwhile, Mrs Mpofu has revealed that they are continuing with the monitoring of weddings and functions venues that are located within residential properties, after the local authority last year declared that some of these were operating illegally and were a nuisance to their neighbours. She, however, said with the Covid-19 pandemic such venues have not been operating fully hence they had not received any reports of illegal activities.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, weddings and functions venues have not been operating in full scale. As such as a city we have not had reports of any illegal weddings and functions venues. It should be noted that council relies mainly on reports, tip-offs and complaints from the public concerning illegal activities. Should there be any illegal weddings and functions venue reported, they are dealt with in terms of the provisions of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act,” said Mrs Mpofu.
According to a council report, facilities that can now host weddings and functions are community halls, places of assembly, social clubs, institutions (colleges, schools and creches), stadia, hotels and recreational facilities. BCC has since come up with a policy where all venues have to be located away from residential properties in a bid to bring back peace and tranquility within residential zones.