By ZANELE NDLOVU/SILAS NKALA
An internal audit conducted by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has revealed that 86% of fire extinguishers at council-owned buildings such as Tower Block and City Revenue Hall were last serviced in 2014, posing a serious fire hazard to the properties.
Fears abound that the fire extinguishers may fail in a fire outbreak due to lack of servicing.
“It was further unravelled that 86% of the BCC-owned facilities are at risk of failing to extinguish fire due to outdated fire extinguishers or lack of servicing of fire extinguishers and fire sprinklers.
“We were informed, for example, that fire extinguishers at the Tower Block and Revenue Hall buildings were last serviced in 2014, increasing the risk of these buildings being extensively damaged in the event of a fire outbreak, in fact, early in the year, a fire sprinkler at a Revenue Hall office failed to detect a fire leading to extensive damage of the office.”
The report also said many of the council facilities had electrical problems. For example, flickering or dimming lights, old wiring, loose or hanging wires, loose outlets, faulty appliances and non-functional electric appliances.
Efforts to get comments from mayor Solomon Mguni and his deputy Mlandu Ncube were fruitless yesterday as they were not answering calls.
Meanwhile, BCC minutes indicate that the municipality raked in over US$2 000 in environmental violation and other fines for different offences.
Housing and community services acting director Dictor Khumalo is on record saying: “Routine patrols were conducted in and around the catchment areas to control environmental damages. During these patrols, a total of 68 hand tools and six detector machines were confiscated and handed over to Esigodini police as exhibits. Nine illegal gold panners were arrested, with the total of illegal gold panners arrested since January now standing at 181. In the Greater Bulawayo mineral and sand extraction area, a total of four educational awareness campaigns were conducted at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport and Methodist area to control livestock.”
The report said awareness campaigns were also held on streambank cultivation.
“A post-passout parade of 28 rangers was conducted at the McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi on November 25, 2022. During the patrols, a total of 42 tickets were issued to various offenders. A sum of US$2 601,13 was realised. A total of 20 tickets were still outstanding with a value of US$12 376,63. Eighteen truckloads were recorded at the two designated pitsand sites and US$330 was realised from the sales.”
On veld management, council said grass cutting and stumping were done in different suburbs.
“Tree trimming was done following reports made in and around the central business district on the falling trees. A total of 53 trees were planted at Gampu Primary School, Trade Fair and Centenary Park, and flowers and lawns were planted at Centenary Park and Amphitheatre, as well as sprucing up and resuscitation of the Centenary Park, which is in progress,” the council minutes added.