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Bulawayo arts spaces in limbo


LACK of funding is crippling Bulawayo City Council (BCC) in developing and rehabilitating recreational facilities, which are needed by artistes for various activities.

This was said during the Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa), in partnership with the BCC’s cultural affairs department, launch of an inter-cultural dialogue series, dubbed Creative Diversity and Social Inclusion Project (CREDISI), in Bulawayo recently.

This is set to target youth-led organisations, women’s arts groups, creative clubs, hubs as well as initiatives done by upcoming and independent artistes in the city.

Artistes complained over limited facilities in the city to use in their various activities as the city continues to develop and attract more people.

In response, BCC director of housing Dictor Khumalo said the challenge was capital to develop the infrastructure and previously, they used to get profits from Ingwebu Breweries to provide social infrastructure.

“We have planned for these spaces and these are called community facilities. What we don’t have is the money to develop them at the moment. As you realise, the country is going through a very difficult economic phase,” Khumalo said.

“We have not been able to support our capital budget that relates to provision of community infrastructure. Previously, we used to benefit from profits from Ingwebu, we were using the profits from Ingwebu to provide social infrastructure.”

Khumalo said other facilities benefited from the benevolence of certain donors through philanthropy. “We need that type of thinking from our community to provide social infrastructure,” he said.

“Where BCC can and manages to secure resources, we would be doing so as we go into the future because we have planned spaces marked for the development of that infrastructure in all the developing suburbs.

“We are also open to partnerships in rehabilitation of our infrastructure. We have got PPC which has contributed to the sprucing-up of this hall [City Hall], in which you artistes stage a lot of shows. The beautification that is happening here is being done through the benevolence of PPC for which we are very much grateful,” he added.

BCC used to have youth centres dotted around the city, but they have since became obsolete due to years of neglect.

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