Masvingo (Masvingo Star-New Ziana) –The Masvingo City Council is seeking partners to install street lights, an official has said.
The development follows the cancellation in 2017 of a contract the city had with AD Outpost Media Pvt Ltd after the company failed to raise adequate capital to see the project through.
Acting town clerk Edward Mukaratirwa said since 2014 the local authority had been implementing a project under which the council provided the land while the partner provided financing which they would recoup through advertising on the street lights.
Mukaratirwa said since the contract with AD Outpost Media was terminated the council had been in the market seeking new partners to continue with the project.
“Unfortunately, to date we do not have a concrete agreement concerning the issue. As of now we have two or three partners whom we are still at negotiating stages with whom we are hopeful that if all the terms and conditions are agreed upon, we might strike a deal and possibly continue with the project,” he said, without disclosing names of the interested partners saying that might jeopardize negotiations.
He said when council went into the market, on average a single street light was going for between US$1 500 and US$2 000.
The aborted project was supposed to see the installation of 580 street lights but only six were installed.
Council was mainly targeting the central business district (CBD) as well as main roads leading in and out of the city to Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare and Beitbridge.
The proposed partnership is expected to run for at least 10 years during which the partner would be responsible for maintaining the street lights after which the infrastructure would become council property.
Street lights in most cities and towns in the country do not work due to neglect over the years, leaving residents vulnerable to crimes such as theft, muggings, robberies and rape as well as affecting businesses that need to operate during the night.