Solar farm project delays raise stink: Residents

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Bulawayo City Council (BCC)

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC)has been accused of awarding tenders to incompetent companies following delays in the implementation of the solar farm project in the city.

But the city fathers blamed the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) for delays in the approval of the project, adding that none of the nine companies interested in the project had been awarded the tender.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA chairperson Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that the solar farm project was a good initiative which, if implemented will alleviate the city’s power shortages.

“It is really a good project, but the problem now is the city council is always giving tenders to the wrong companies. I heard about the project long back but ever since nothing has been done concerning the project,” Sibindi said.

He added: “The council always promises us heaven and earth, but it all ends on paper. The biggest challenge that we have is that everything they propose takes too long to come to fruition, nothing ever gets finished.”

In July last year, council said nine companies were competing for the solar project.

The companies include Infuxion Power Distribution which is  on Farm 6, Plot 2 Victory Whitesrun Road in Umzingwane, Liogle Technologies, Rishi Investments and Doncaster Belmont Bulawayo, NaNaaNovo Energy Zimbabwe Ltd, Satewave Technologies and Network Building Services Engineers.

Other proposals were by Williams Engineering, Dennis Garison representing Solar PV Partners Ltd, and Fly Servicios de Construction from Madrid in Spain.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said submissions were made to Zida, which was yet to grant approval.

He said no company had been selected to partner council in the solar project, adding that work could only begin after Zida’s approval.

Recently Energy and Power Development deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa urged consumers to brace for more power cuts
owing to breakdowns at  the Hwange and Kariba South power stations.

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