Byo 15-year master plan: Council to prioritise water, power, telecommunication services

By Sifiso Sibanda

The City Bulawayo is finalising the crafting of its 15-year master plan which is expected to be set into motion next year.

Bulawayo whose population is expected to grow to 1.5 million in 15 years needs an additional 13 145 hectares of land to account for all its development needs.

Stakeholders who attended consultations on the new master plan said this dovetails with the proposed 40 km radius that has been proposed by the local political leadership.

Bulawayo Metropolitan Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube challenged the city fathers to be clinical in their planning to ensure the new design does not exclude other key issues.

“We have to consult all stakeholders as we come up with this document and make sure that it is inclusive of all aspects of development and all the land needed before the document is submitted to the central government.”

Under the new master plan, the city seeks to establish a strong and sustainable local economic base for its community, with anchor projects set to be identified to bolster the economy of the country’s industrial hub.

Small and medium scale entrepreneurs are also set to be accommodated, while schools and social infrastructure projects have also been identified.

Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube says as the city enters the new development phase, water and other key services are a top priority.

“We have to ensure that key services are going to be provided and as we plan we are working with other stakeholders such as rail, power and telecommunication services for efficient delivery of needs.”

Bulawayo, which is one of the best managed urban local authorities, is expected to present its master plan to the central government for approval before the end of the year.