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Bulawayo Town Clerk blasts local companies

by Staff reporter
22 May 2022 at 08:30hrs | Views
BULAWAYO Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube on Friday took a swipe at local companies that are awarded major development tenders in the city but fail to deliver, saying at some point the local authority will be forced to stop giving preference to them.

In August last year, the local authority resolved to award tenders mainly to companies that have remained operating in the city despite the de-industrialisation that was experienced a few years back.

The local authority has previously faced complications in dealing with companies headquartered outside the city, which saw them at one point losing US$303 000 they had paid as deposit in two separate deals for a fleet of ambulances and the installation of a tracking system to Harare-based "briefcase" companies.

On the other hand, a number of property developers have given the city a hard time after abandoning their awarded projects which has left a number of housing developments in the city being referred to arbitration. Speaking during a ceremony to commission 114 stands in Emganwini that were developed by Natwecraft Investments Private Limited, Mr Dube said it was unfortunate that some companies, while claiming to have the capacity during the tendering process, later failed to deliver after being awarded the tenders.

"In terms of Government's policy of devolution and our council's affirmative action drive we have a policy where we give first priority to local businesses but it does not follow to then say only Bulawayo companies must benefit because when we flight tenders we advertise to the whole world.

However, the challenge that we have is that in as much as that we want to do business with Bulawayo companies we have been let down considerably by some of our companies that we say we need to empower. We have an obligation as a local authority that we give preference to them but also they have an obligation to perform," said Mr Dube.

He said the companies must realise that council did not just parcel out tenders but there were processes to be followed to ensure that residents get the best possible services.

"Whenever we have tenders, we do not just parcel out tenders to whoever is willing to do business with council but we also focus on capacity, in terms of finance and expertise, I am happy that we are here at Natwecraft, which was one of our first partnerships using this model and they completed the project in record time.

I must, however, warn those who have let us down in the past, we will pretend as if we do not know you but if we give projects to underperforming companies we are shooting ourselves in the foot, so I must call on all companies to be prepared to do what they are expected to do and not to disappoint," said Mr Dube.

Speaking at the same event, Natwecraft managing director Mr Nkululeko Moyo said Private Public Partnerships were the only possible way the city could solve its housing problems.

Source - The Sunday News
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