BCC mulls converting Ascot Race Course into stands

Pamela Shumba Senior Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council is considering converting the Ascot Race Course grounds into a residential area.

Professional horse racing was suspended more than 14 years ago at the now defunct race course, formerly owned by the Matabeleland Turf Club.

According to the latest council minutes, the local authority is planning to invite land developers who are interested in developing the piece of land.

“The director of engineering services reported that it had been noted that the former Ascot Race Course grounds had now become deserted ever since horse racing ceased and the lease with Matabeleland Turf Club was cancelled by council.

“Ascot race course was zoned residential and ancillary in terms of local plan No. 5, which covers the area. With the race course area located in an upmarket area and in the vicinity of upmarket suburbs like Woodlands, Suburbs and Kumalo, it’s paramount that strategies be put in place to rejuvenate the area.”

The council proposed that an invitation be extended to companies or developers that would be interested in developing the race course.

Interested developers are expected to submit proposals indicating their proposed developments. “The buildings within the race course, however, have remained in use as these are being leased by various lessors who were conducting businesses like sports bars, restaurants and offices, among others. The tenants leasing these premises had, however, cited lack of business.”

Racing at Ascot race course was suspended in 2001 following a decline in the number of competitors bringing in their own horses for races.

Ascot was the country’s second largest and most established race course after the Borrowdale Race Course in Harare.

Bulawayo competitions’ attracted gamblers from around the globe and many families survived from betting at Ascot and the informal sector also thrived.


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  • Edgar

    I guess its a given since the deputy mayor has already allocated himself some stands. Pity the Minister of Local Govt is also a Philistine so there is no one to stop this madness. Satsha ngamasela azithi ngabakhokheli.

  • Mpisi

    You don’t give out land stupidly , this is not Harare msathanyoko

  • koka

    uyabona lo Mehlo omutsha ngihambisana laye. dont bring the old Mehlo back. batshele njengo solomon skuza.

  • troubled waters

    Please please not The Ascot Race Course, when I was still resident in Bulawayo, I would be there by 5am for my early morning jogging & 6pm for my evening jog right around the track. It was not only an opportunity to exercise & still healthy, but an opportunity to be in a serene & nice environment, those beautiful horses and all. I can’t imagine that place being a residential area, worse still an overcrowded residential area. Unless of course if it’s being snatched by one man.

  • Dooks

    Why is every one that has a different mind set to yours is a tribalist, satanist or witch Mr Jotham?What is so lazy about my mind? You are the lazy minded one.Or maybe you are just naive. If you live in that area you should be aware that across the road from there is an open space that is unoccupied. If you care to drive around Bulawayo you would know that the are many hectares of land that are lying idle. I never took you for stupid but I guess I was wrong. Badly wrong so as of now I will call you Mr Silly.

  • nkux

    As a recreational specialist I would like to advise council that let recreational space remain recreational, if Ascot is none performer for horses then convert it to another recreational facility, lets build another soccer stadium, another basketball complex another golf course etc, this is a green area which belongs to residents but privatisating it is very regressive and we as a city will have gone back 200years.