Harare council to terminate solar lighting contracts

HARARE - Under performing companies that were awarded contracts to install solar lights in the capital city risk having these terminated by the Harare City Council (HCC).

A few years back, five companies, namely PriMedia; MED Lighting; Sonic Ray Investments; Satewave Technologies; and AXA Holdings were awarded contracts to implement the city’s solar lighting project.

The initiative was meant to eliminate the need for cabling while also reducing council’s monthly energy bill.

According to minutes of the city’s Environmental Management Committee, these companies were supposed to undertake the project from 2015 to 2018.

But of the awarded contracts, only PriMedia has managed to fulfil its obligations, with the other companies at less than five percent to completion due to failure to attract foreign investments.

Only 1 050 solar street lights have been installed across the city. An additional 110 were installed along Kirkman Road.

“Solar lighting projects were being affected by vandalism, theft of batteries and lack of foreign currency to purchase capital equipment. Maintenance of the implemented solar lighting schemes was being affected by non-availability of foreign currency,” reads part of the minutes.

HCC’s director of works Zvenyika Chawatama warned that the city could be forced to terminate contracts for those that fail to fulfil their contractual obligations.

“After conducting a cost benefit analysis we observed that we could save a lot of money from using solar in our lighting but the contractors were failing to deliver citing foreign currency challenges,” he said.

“As such, we are now requesting that all street lighting be on the national electricity grid as there is no foreign currency to replace the vandalised components. We already have the platform vehicles and the infrastructure is already in place,” Chawatama said.

In terms of the agreement, the five companies are supposed to provide solar lighting to residents in exchange for free advertising on the street light poles for a period ranging between 10 and 20 years.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.