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Bulawayo City Council condemns 161 CBD buildings

by Staff reporter
19 Jun 2024 at 02:41hrs | Views
A recent report from the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has highlighted the dire condition of numerous buildings, with 161 structures identified as dilapidated and condemned. Most of these buildings were flagged during inspections conducted in April 2024.

The BCC revealed that its inspection department focuses on addressing unsightly, dangerous, and dilapidated buildings as per the Model Building By-Laws. Notices have been issued under statutory provisions such as Section 48 (Dangerous Buildings) and Section 49 (Dilapidated and Unsightly Buildings) of the Model Building By-Laws, as well as Section 214 of the Bulawayo (Buildings, Roads and Streets) By-Laws of 1971.

Despite these measures, the council admitted to facing challenges in effectively pursuing remedial actions due to resource constraints. This includes the high costs associated with clearing and demolishing condemned structures.

Among the identified buildings in the central business district, 20 have complied with regulations, 65 have partially complied, while 76 have not taken any action despite penalties imposed by the council. A total of 29 non-compliant buildings were revisited and issued final notices.

The council also reported a significant decrease of 32.18% in building plan approvals, attributing this decline potentially to unsustainable fees or economic instability in the country. In April 2024, 189 building plans were processed, with 118 approved valued at US$3,077,289. Despite an increase in plan submissions by 9.35%, challenges persist in the building control section, including transport issues hampering effective monitoring.

Furthermore, the report noted that inspections in April 2024 covered 1,581 buildings, resulting in visits to five public buildings and 29 dilapidated structures. Public buildings like banks, cinemas, and hotels undergo annual inspections by an interdepartmental team.

Overall, the BCC continues to grapple with the management of urban infrastructure amidst economic challenges, aiming to mitigate risks posed by deteriorating buildings while navigating financial and operational constraints.

Source - southeren eye
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