BCC resorts to selling sand but . . .

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Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is planning to sell pit and river sand to excavators in a bid to boost the city’s income generation, it has emerged.

The council faces financial challenges which may culminate in the council retrenching up to
1 000 workers.

According to the latest council report, BCC deputy mayor Amen Mpofu made the suggestion to sell sand.

“In my view, I believe that council could generate revenue from the sale of pit and river sand,” he said. “This could also assist in curbing illegal excavation of land.”

The council has in the past put in place by-laws against pit and river sand excavation.

Councillor Israel Mabaleka, however, said excavators were unwilling to buy from the council.
“Illegal excavators were not interested in buying pit or river sand, but prefer to illegally excavate,” Mabaleka said.

“More patrols by council are needed to monitor these illegal activities.”

The BCC director of Housing and Community Services Isaiah Magagula said more should be done to curb soil poaching.

“There is need to increase ranger patrols and patrol vehicles to reduce soil poaching,” he said.

BCC issued 48 illegal soil excavators with penalty tickets, along with other offenders caught and charged with degradation, wood cutting, gold panning and dumping.

A total of 29 tickets were paid while 19 are unpaid. Income generated was $3 435.