BY SILAS NKALA
SERVICING of pre-sale stands in Bulawayo’s medium and high-density suburbs is expected to gobble over US$10,9 million, with the local authority considering selling them in foreign currency.
This was revealed in recent council minutes where it emerged that beneficiaries were failing to pay for the stands, hence the need to realign the housing stands pre-sale policy so that stand prices can be pegged in foreign currency.
Indications were that council was supposed to deliver 3 000 housing units annually, but of late no residential area has been commissioned.
Offer letters were given to beneficiaries who had paid more than 50% of the cost price.
Council’s engineering services director Simela Dube said the unserviced residential stands needed road and sewage reticulation systems.
Dube said there was need to complete the on-going projects that were free of dispute, such as Emhlangeni 2, Magwegwe Extension and Pumula South Phase 2.
“The estimated cost of servicing the incomplete pre-sale stands was US$10 947 101. The successful completion of the pre-sale stands depend on availability of funds, and on the finalisation of the litigation process for the projects that had disputes,” the minutes read.
“The preferred procurement method was the use of in-house teams, but the challenge was on balancing road maintenance and the servicing requirements taking into consideration that council plant and equipment were obsolete. The graders hardly worked for two days without breakdown.”
Council said outsourcing works was unavoidable and the inter-departmental committee was currently discussing the financial implications and implementation strategies before engaging the beneficiaries on the way forward.
Companies which are entrusted with the servicing of the stands are Tzircalle Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, Asphalt Products (Pvt) ltd, Stelix Civils (Pvt) Ltd and Aggregate (Pvt) Ltd.
The developments come at a time when the city council is grappling with a housing waiting list which has ballooned to over 100 000.