THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is struggling to raise money to replace its depleted fleet of ambulances, a situation that has compromised health delivery in the city, latest council minutes have shown.
The matter came to light after Ward 22 Councillor Rodney Jele sought clarity on the issue of ambulances.
“Discussion ensued and Councillor R.D Jele sought clarity on the issue of ambulances whereby they were yearly budgeted for but were never bought. The existing fleet was always on breakdown. That has resulted to the shutdown of Nkulumane Fire Station. Since council could not buy new ambulances, why not repair the existing ones. He acknowledged with appreciation the repairs done to fire hydrants in Nkulumane. Was there a program in place to repair fire hydrants?” the minutes reads in part.
Ward 27 Councillor Alderman Siboniso Khumalo requested that council buys an ambulance every year since the available ambulances were unable to meet demand.
In response the Engineering Services Department said lack of funds was the major challenge affecting the purchase of ambulances, adding that repairs to the old ambulances were always being done but because of their old age they could no longer be fixed.
The Town Clerk Christopher Dube advised that council had tried to borrow funds but could not get anything because of lack of borrowing powers.
He however, highlighted that council was waiting for Government financial support to local authorities as reflected in the Government budget.