BCC embraces Vision 2030 smart city concept

27 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
BCC embraces Vision 2030 smart city concept Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga listens as Bulawayo City Council’s Director of Housing, Mr Dictor Khumalo stresses a point during a tour of stands at the Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Meeting and Symposium in Victoria Falls on Monday, and (left) is Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Richard Moyo

The Chronicle

Prosper Ndlovu recently in Victoria Falls

SOLAR farms, vehicle assembling, new shopping malls, bonded warehousing, industrial parks and an integrated modern transport system are part of the ambitious smart city targets for the City of Bulawayo, as it focuses on contributing towards Government’s Vision 2030. 

The city’s short-term vision to become a smart economic destination is anchored on recognition of the need to transform the local authority into a smart city, utilizing ICTs and improving operational efficiency of the organisation.

Guided by this vision Bulawayo says it has embraced the smart city concept with focus on the providing quality services to clients and different stakeholders by 2024, as critical building blocks towards attainment of an empowered and prosperous upper middle- income economy by 2030.

VICE President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga

These flagship projects are being showcased on the sidelines of the on-going Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Meeting and Symposium where other local authorities and built environment service providers from the region are participating. 

Briefing Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga during a tour of exhibition stands on Monday, Bulawayo business development officer, Mr Kholisani Moyo, said the city has availed vast investment opportunities along the smart city model, which would contribute more to attainment of Vision 2030 while buttressing the National Development Strategy (NDS1) ideals.

“In line with the vision to create an upper middle-income economy by 2030, we have looked at different sectors and we want to develop sustainable infrastructure for the city,” said Mr Moyo.

“These projects are meant to assist in achieving a new transformative and inclusive development agenda for the nation. We have started with what we call city regeneration, targeting suburbs like Makokoba. 

“We have already advertised Makokoba so that we develop it into high rise buildings and shopping malls.

“We have also looked at old terminuses like Egodini Project, which is already under construction and we are hoping that by the end of the year the first phase will be commissioned.”

Mr Kholisani Moyo

On proposed residential flats for Makokoba, Mr Moyo said the city’s aim was to provide for self-sustaining residential flats through implementation of environmental design techniques.

“The current existing flats are no longer in a good state, hence the need to address the main concerns of residents on site,” he said.

As part of the urban renewal drive, Mr Moyo said the City of Bulawayo was seeking investment partnerships in transforming Erenkini Rural Bus Terminus into a modern facility with thriving business attraction.

The thrust includes transformation of stadiums like Barbourfields and White City, which he said will enable the city to host big tournaments like the African nations football cup tournament, among others.

Erenkini Bus terminus

“On the industry side we are implementing the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) programme of which there is a piece of land that has been designated for that purpose, which is called Umvumila located closer to United College of Education and Mpilo Central Hospital and is clearly shown on the city map, measuring about 188ha,” he said.

“Under this model we are targeting industries such as car assembling and bonded warehousing. This programme is one of the initiatives that we think will transform the City of Bulawayo. So, we are looking at attracting some of these investors towards this piece of land.”

According to council, the SEZs projected financial investment costs are estimated at US$150 million and the designated land is earmarked for development of an industrial park with 256 planned stands.

Another industrial park is earmarked for Cowdray Park with more unserviced commercial land in Kelvin East.

Over and above these, Mr Moyo said Bulawayo was targeting key investment sectors under SEZs covering mining and engineering, beef and leather value chain, textile and clothing, rubber and plastics, wood and furniture, agro-processing and pharmaceuticals, among others, which have high potential for job creation.

On smart mobility, Mr Moyo said the city was keen to achieve cheaper, faster and environmentally friendly as well as integrated bulk multi-transport system.

“A very lucrative opportunity has been availed to potential investors to take advantage of the opportunities found in the transport sector, which include road rehabilitation, construction of road features such as bridges, flyovers, sidewalks, etc,” he said.

In view of the high demand of electricity to power a modern industrial business model and the need to embrace green ernegy solutions for environmental sustaionability, Mr Moyo said Bulawayo has identified solar power as a viable and much cheaper source of power in the long run.

“Residential, commercial and industrial rooftops are earmarked for solar energy investment. 

“The city is encouraging a diverse portfolio of investment in the sector, which includes construction of solar power stations, solar farms, installations of solar panels in prominent buildings and industries and installation of solar panels at the city’s dams and waste-water and sewer treatment plants,” he said.

These should be complemented by solar powered streets lights, solar powered robots, solar digital bus stops and solar charging stations, said Mr Moyo.

 

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