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Bulawayo avails 500 stands

by Staff reporter
28 Nov 2021 at 07:51hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has since started to note the benefits of a new housing development strategy that it embarked on at the beginning of the year with the servicing of over 500 stands under the scheme nearing completion in less than six months.

This comes in the wake of council enduring a number of losses after various property developers abandoned their sites with more than 3 000 stands that were being developed by private developers left uncompleted with the local authority forced to take legal action to resolve the impasse.

The local authority has had an on and off relationship with private developers having at one point been forced to set aside their engagement in housing projects, instead opting for a pre-sale strategy where they sell off stands to beneficiaries and then use the money to develop the stands.

According to the local authority, a new concept where they work with developers with their own funds, instead of the traditional pre-sale concept, is giving results with three developers that were awarded stands in Emganwini  nearing completion of servicing the stands.

Responding to written questions, BCC corporate communications manager, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said the local authority had in the past implemented a number of strategies in terms of housing development and they had been learning from experience and challenges they encountered in the implementation of those strategies.

"In terms of the recent housing projects in Emganwini Township, the thrust was to engage partners with development finance in terms of Council policy of engagement of private developers.

"The projects were advertised through an expression of interest inviting developers who have development finance adequate to service these projects to respond to the advert.

"We were looking for developers with development finance who will be able to fully fund the servicing of the stands with sewer, water and roads. These stands were not sold to developers but the developers were expected to service the stands, upon completion of servicing these stands would be sold with the developers being able to recoup their monies from the proceeds of the sale of stands," said Mrs Mpofu.

Commenting on the issue, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni said since coming into office they had inherited a number of projects that had been left hanging by some private developers who had got them via a pre-sale basis.

He revealed that they had only one site in Highmount, under Aggregate Properties serviced under the scheme  that was done by Aggregate Properties, completed and handed over to beneficiaries who have now started building their homes.

"The sites were awarded as follows; TCI International (268 stands) Emganwini, Netwcraft Engineering (114 Stands) Emganwini, Aggregate Properties (144 stands) Cowdray Park. The developers were required to service the stands with roads, water, and sewerage, these projects are now at 80 percent complete and we expect to commission them by February 2021," said Clr Mguni.

The Mayor said so far the strategy has worked wonders and they look forward to working with more local developers with capacity and funds so as to improve housing delivery in the city.

"Council has now extended the strategy to apply to new sites that have been offered at remainder of Emganwini, just after Bellevue Shopping Centre, on which three sites with a combined total of 2400 stands, will be developed under the same strategy," said Clr Mguni.

Source - The Sunday News
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