BY SILAS NKALA
Victoria Falls City’s housing backlog currently stands at over 15 000 at a time when the local authority is struggling to secure land for housing development.
Housing director Brian Nyamande yesterday told Southern Eye that the town council had already engaged central government to unlock more land for the expansion of the town.
“The Victoria Falls waiting list currently sits at 15 000 applicants. We, however, continue to receive more applicants and as we speak, we have upcoming stands which I cannot give details about because we are still waiting for approval from the government. But I can assure you, the process is at an advanced stage,” he said.
“The population of Victoria Falls is growing rapidly. The town is affected by boundaries and we have engaged the government through the (Local Government) ministry to unlock more land for development purposes.
“We have challenges in social amenities and we are currently looking for partners for the upgrading of Chinotimba Stadium. We believe Victoria Falls has sports potential. We do have land set aside for the multi-sporting facility, but we need partners to assist us and we are already going the private-public partnership way because we cannot manage to do that alone as a council,” Nyamande said.
His remarks came a few days after town clerk Ronnie Dube said the local authority was owed over $200 million in rates, a development which threatens service delivery.
The local authority appealed to ratepayers to pay up their bills, as this was affecting housing and social amenities development projects.
“People are not paying their bills well, if you look at Victoria Falls it survives through tourism. With the effects of COVID-19 protocols in force, many people have been having difficulties in paying their bills,” Dube said.
He said as a result, council had resolved to reduce water charges by 40%, while shop licence fees in high-density areas were reduced by 33%.
“We reduced fixed water charges and we came up with a flexible payment plan for shop licences and big businesses so that they are able to stagger their payments.”
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