- Published: 15 January 2022
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) will this year expedite the implementation of its smart city programme which it hopes to complete by 2024.
This strategy, which was boosted by the visit of BCC officials to Dubai towards the end of last year, entails implementation of various development projects across various economic sectors.
The council’s smart city development programme is running concurrently with the government’s cities regeneration and rehabilitation exercise.
BCC economic development officer Kholisani Moyo told the Zimbabwe Independent that Bulawayo had its own smart city concept which was developed in 2019.
“The concept included all the sectors of the city’s economy such as tourism, water, energy and roads among many others with the intention of achieving a smart city by 2024.
“In water, we talk of the recycling of Khami Dam water, prepaid meters. We intend to have solutions to speedily check water leaks and meter reading using gadgets which will identify the areas yet to be dealt with,” Moyo said.
Under the plan, BCC intends to have solar farms, street solar lights and installation of solar power at all council buildings.
The city will also adopt drones to curb illegal activities while it is also within the smart city plan to have more high rising residential accommodation.
BCC’s housing backlog is currently sitting at over 100 000.
Moyo noted that the council was working in collaboration with the government in the rehabilitation of old suburbs such as Makokoba and Mabutheweni for a modern outlook.
“Apart from looking at issues of technological development from the government strategy, we are focusing on the development of suburbs and upgrading city buildings.
“Going forward, we should be looking at the industry and city buildings and see how they can meet modern standards. Even Egodini terminus is part of our smart city concept and this will extend to the old eRenkini terminus,” Moyo said.
The Egodini rehabilitation project which is expected to gobble US$60 million is being spearheaded by South African developer, Terracotta Private Limited Company.
Moyo further noted that the smart city concept seeks to establish new cities, for instance in Cowdray Park, like what is planned in Mt Hampden, Harare.
The city will promote waste recycling and some of the methods will be adopted from Dubai.
He also said the city will look at bringing convenience in the payment of services by the rate payers.
“Everywhere people have mobile phones and that is an opportunity for them to just scan and make a payment instead of queueing. This year, we will be dealing with these things given the expansion of our revenue collection base. This will enable us to leverage on the revenue collections,” Moyo said.
Last year, Moyo said, the city was pursuing smart city housing opportunities which include the development of low cost housing for low income earners and regeneration projects for old suburbs.
BCC also unveiled virgin land in the Umvumila area to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to set up a smart industrial park. The proposed industrial park will be the first of its kind in Bulawayo and it will focus on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
Under the smart city programme, BCC will also be looking at projects like ICT innovation parks, beef and leather industry, car assembly and the engineering industry. Others include factory park, the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetic industry, steel fabrication, tourism and curio manufacturing and solar engineering.
Autor(en)/Author(s): SILAS NKALA
Quelle/Source: Zimbabwe Independent, 08.01.2022