LOCAL Government and National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo has reportedly taken keen interest on the awarding of tenders for renovations of stadiums in Bulawayo earmarked for use during the Zone VI Youth Games.
There have been widespread complaints that Harare-based firms were being awarded the tenders at the expense of local ones.
Firms contracted to undertake renovations torched a storm recently when they reportedly imported labour from Harare instead of employing local youths.
The issue took centre stage during Saturday’s Zanu PF provincial inter-city district youth conference on ZimAsset.
Party members said all companies that win tenders in Bulawayo should commit to employing local youths before they are awarded the tenders.
Officials from various construction firms in Bulawayo held discussions with the contracted companies on labour recruitment.
One construction firm official Zweli Malinga told Southern Eye yesterday that 25 qualified personnel would be recruited locally.
“We held discussions with one of the contractors about the employment issue and they notified us that they would recruit 25 people locally with the bulk of them being bricklayers and electricians,” Malinga said.
“Although we would have wanted the tenders to go to Bulawayo construction firms, unfortunately we did not see any advertisement to that effect.
“All we want is for the contracted firms to put up a perfect job on the sites.
“The fact that they will recruit qualified personal is encouraging.
“We have it on good authority that Chombo has taken keen interest on the issue and will personally address it soon.”
Interviews for electricians and bricklayers are expected to be conducted in the coming days.
Last month, the director of quantity surveying in the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry, Mike Dzimati, claimed that Bulawayo companies were not clued up to the tendering system resulting in tenders for jobs being awarded to firms from outside the city.
He said they failed to identify a suitable company for the $1 million tartan track at White City Stadium, which forced the ministry to retender it.
Dzimati was giving a presentation on the tendering process for the construction of the youth games venues.
The African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Games would be held at various venues in the city from December 5 to 15.
Ten countries from the southern region would be in Bulawayo and set to compete in nine different sports codes, namely athletics, athletics for the visually impaired, basketball, boxing, football, netball, swimming, tennis and golf, which was previously not part of the Games but Zimbabwe, as hosts, were given the prerogative of adding one more sport code.