Bulawayo residents say companies that were contracted to upgrade stadiums and other sports areas in the city in preparation for the forthcoming African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games, have still not heeded their calls to employ locals in their building projects.
Political parties in the city have complained that the government awarded tenders to companies domiciled outside the city, who then import labor at the expense of locals.
Some of the city’s ward 13 residents had threatened to destroy structures being built at the White City Stadium, if the construction company did not hire local residents by end of day Monday.
Chairperson of the organizing committee, Khonzani Ncube, who is also the Public Administrator for Bulawayo reportedly said the issue, would be looked into so that unskilled and semi-skilled workers in the city could benefit from the projects. Interviews are expected for bricklayers and electricians from the city.
The issue was also discussed early this month during the Zanu PF provincial inter-city district youth conference on Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
However, the director of quantity surveying in the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry, Mike Dzimati, reportedly claimed that companies in Bulawayo were not competent at the tendering system, resulting in tenders, including the one for refurbishing the White City Stadium, being awarded to companies outside the city.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Organizing Secretary Ambrose Sibindi said his organization had requested that the organizing committee should involve all stakeholders, including residents in the planning process, to avoid such problems.