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New housing, industrial stands for Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
03 Mar 2023 at 06:21hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council has announced plans to avail 557 medium-density residential stands and 250 industrial stands in Umvumila to potentially address housing backlog and boost the city's economy.

The local authority has granted permission for the stands to be made available to developers with finance to full servicing through an expression of interest.

According to the latest council monthly report tabled before a full council on Wednesday, the Town Planning Director, Mr Wisdom Siziba, said once servicing was complete the stands would then be sold to beneficiaries on the council waiting list with the developer recouping their investment from the proceeds of the sale of the stands.

"These stands would be availed as two separate projects that were the 250 industrial stands as one project and the 557 residential stands as another project," he said.

Umvumila was designated for development under the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) model in Bulawayo.

The SEZs is being implemented in Bulawayo's Belmont, Donnington, Kelvin and Westerndale corridor as well as Umvumila area, a virgin piece of land covering about 188 hectares situated near the United College of Education.

In recent years, the local authority has been unveiling residential stands to reduce the housing backlog.

For instance, in January, the local authority unveiled plans to establish a new residential suburb on 156 445 hectares near Bellevue to cater for clients who require larger space, a development that will immensely reduce the city's housing backlog.

The proposed site has a provision of 509 stands. At present, the city housing waiting list is close to 200 000 as the council has over the years struggled to meet the demand for stands.

The proposed residential area is located approximately six kilometres south-west of the Central Business District, off Plumtree Road, and is bounded by Plumtree Road, Derby Road, and Newton West suburb.

In his 2022 annual year message, city mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, highlighted that last year, the local authority allocated a total of 498 stands, with those allocated to individuals under the presale scheme in Pumula South totalling 117.

A total of 1 680 stands were allocated to private developers for servicing and are yet to be allocated to beneficiaries upon completion of servicing, he said.

Property management firm, Radar Holdings Limited, is also developing a self-contained residential area known as the "King City" housing project along Gwanda Road.

Zimbabwe has a national housing backlog of around 1,5 million units and access to affordable and decent accommodation is a critical component of the Government's vision to create an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

The project sits on 2 100 hectares and targets 9 000 stands of which 475 have already been developed. The project will accommodate schools, churches, and industrial zones.

Under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), which spans 2021-2025, the housing delivery pillar is expected to deliver 220 000 housing units by 2025 through collective efforts from stakeholders, and all parties involved in human settlements.

Demand for housing has risen over the years in tandem with population growth, and in a bid to accelerate the provision of housing, the Government has adopted several strategies to ensure access to housing by the majority of citizens.

Source - The Chronicle