Bulawayo takes deliberate affirmative action policy

Bulawayo takes deliberate affirmative action policy
Published: 22 February 2019 (197 Views)
BULAWAYO Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni has said council has taken a deliberate affirmative action policy that will see local companies being prioritised in the awarding of tenders to promote the city's development.

In an interview, Clr Mguni said the policy is also meant to complement Government's devolution policy. He said awarding tenders to local companies would empower Bulawayo residents and businesses which would contribute to the city's growth.

The Mayor said the policy position is designed to give projects to competent Bulawayo companies without segregating on tribal grounds.

"Affirmative action is a policy that we have as a city but it is informed by the capacity of a company. If we put out a tender that we want to do this, we expect local companies to respond to that and we have been seeing them doing that," he said.

"But what we do not want is a situation whereby people tribalise such things. When we say Bulawayo companies we mean Bulawayo companies; we are not putting any tribal connotations. We are also not saying we are closing out any foreign investors or investors or contractors from other cities. When local companies do not have capacity, we will look outside."

Cllr Mguni said companies that win council tenders should employ local people and procure their materials locally. He said it was senseless for companies to import menial labour when there are many unemployed people in the city who can do the job.

Clr Mguni said whenever he engages industry players he is always keen on asking them whether they accommodate Bulawayo residents.

"I did an industry tour in October/November; wherever I went I would ask about their staff complement and ask about the number of locals employed in their companies. I encouraged them that should vacancies arise they should employ local people if they have the required qualifications," he said.

The Mayor said some companies told him that being headquartered in Harare has contributed to them employing outsiders. He said even some equipment is brought from Harare where companies would have done most of their paperwork.

Clr Mguni said the BCC was making frantic efforts not to be left behind in implementing devolution of power.

"The (devolution) instruments have not been operationalised but we are taking a deliberate policy on affirmative action. We are making decisions. Mind you, we are a Government on our own. Some of the decisions must be confirmed by the parent Ministry, but we make certain decisions like the affirmative action policy," he said.

- chronicle

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