BULAWAYO governor Cain Mathema has said local authorities must stop leasing out municipal beerhalls and company premises as councillors do not understand privatisation.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
Mathema said councils should run the entities in a profitable manner.
Speaking during the annual Local Government merit awards ceremony in Bulawayo last week, Mathema said he was against leasing of council properties.
“(Local Government) minister Chombo, I am against council’s leasing of properties. For instance, we have Ingwebu here which could be run by council. That would create employment for our children,” he said.
“The problem is our councillors do not understand issues related to privatisation. They are using textbooks written by colonisers, which is wrong.”
Mathema said local authorities should not rush to scout for foreign investment, but be innovative and explore locally.
“I disagree with people calling for foreign investors instead of local investors,” he said.
Bulawayo City Council has been seeking to lease out its beerhalls to private players over the past few years.
Ingwebu Breweries has had to contend with a number of challenges in running its beerhalls dotted around the city.
At one point, it closed some of its operations after the board failed to get approval from council to borrow money from the market and fund a turnaround strategy.
As a result of the standoff, the local authority sacked the entire board.
Outlets which include Hlanganani Bar Lounge, Woodville Tavern, Mahadebe, Matshobana, Nkulumane, Phekiwe, Pumulani, Mandlovu, Khongo, Totobisa, Masilela, Sidudla as well as Mondela beer gardens have been targeted for privatisation.
Residents have complained that the local authority has been privatising some of the city’s properties without consulting them.