BY SILISIWE MABALEKA/PATRICIA SIBANDA
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) says it will unveil 3 000 stands annually to reduce the housing waiting list which now stands at 130 000.
On Friday, BCC commissioned 114 stands in Emganwini high-density surburb where town clerk Christopher Dube said the city had signed a contract with government to allocate 3 000 stands annually.
“Contracted companies must perform accordingly in order to ensure the stands come into fruition,” Dube said.
Ward 26 councillor, Mpumelelo Moyo said: “This will create business for companies selling construction material and jobs for architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, bricklayers and general hands. We, therefore, implore the project owners to give preference to local people to strengthen the local economy.”
He said councils and central government should work together to deliver decent and affordable housing in the city.
“We have seen desperate homeseekers being duped of large sums of money. We want to ensure this does not happen again.”
Bulawayo mayor, Solomon Mguni said: “These 114 stands are the first project commissioned under the expression of interest housing delivery strategy in the city. BCC use various strategies in providing housing which include private developers, council servicing, the pre-sell scheme and the call for organisations and individuals with development finance to develop stands and service them.”
Bulawayo will be using government’s housing model which stipulates that 40% of the buildings must be high rise.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube said the newly-commissioned Emganwini project had been fully serviced in terms of sewage, water and roads.
“Housing is a key input in economic, social and civic development. This is because many housing-related activities are known to contribute to the socio-economic goals of any society,” Ncube said.
She urged BCC to adopt smart approaches to service delivery in the city and come up with transformative solutions to housing delivery.
BCC will also inspect construction work on the serviced stands.
Meanwhile, BCC has introduced smart pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) in six suburbs to improve water management.
Future Water Supplies Committee chairperson Sikhululekile Moyo (ward 17 councillor) told Southern Eye that the suburbs that will benefit from the project include Luveve, Cowdray Park, Nkulumane, Emakhandeni, Pumula South, Nketa and Gwabalanda.
“We are still trying to secure more smart PRVs, and are still trying to source US$290 000, which is needed to install them in the rest of the city,” said BCC engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube, adding that some of the smart PRV systems had been installed and a case study in one of the suburbs revealed that the smart devices could ease plumbing pressure in the city.