Residents of Jabulani Flats in Ward 1 are elated following the refurbishment of their apartments through the ward retention fund facility.
The council-owned flats are situated along Basch Street, next to the Egodini mall.
The fund was established in 2015, with each ward retaining 3 percent of its monthly rates revenue collection to fund developmental programmes in their localities.
Ward 1 councillor Mlandu Ncube noted that the project, which started about three months ago, will cost close to ZWL$1 000 000.
The developments include erecting a parameter fence around the flats, installing solar geysers, changing doors and door frames, putting in new windows and changing gutters.
In an interview with CITE, Monday, the residents expressed gratitude for the project noting that they had been knocking on council doors for many years seeking such intervention.
Saul Kachilenga, a resident, said they have lived at the property since the 1960s and it is only now that such a project has been done for them.
“We are grateful for what Cllr Mlandu has done for us. Most of our doors were not closing properly because they have been there for too long. At least we got new doors and new windows which is something we had wanted from the council for a while now,” he said.
Stephen Jenkins, another resident, said they feel safer because of the parameter fence that has been put up.
“As you can see, there is now a fence here. That means we can be safe in our houses. All this while people would just pass through as they wish, now there is some privacy,” he said.
“We also hope that as time goes on we can also get a borehole drilled for us. We would like to start our own gardens to supplement our families and our income as well. We are not affected by water rationing but we can’t use treated water for gardening purposes especially when other areas are suffering such serious water cuts.”
The residents, however, implored the council to grant them ownership of the flats, stating that they have stayed there for a very long time and have proven loyalty by paying their bills in time and taking good care of the place.
“I have lived here since I was a child. We have always paid our bills in time. Considering the time factor, the council is supposed to at least grant us ownership of these flats. They can come up with plans on how we can pay for them,” Tanya Ngwenya said.
“We have approached the council on several occasions but there hasn’t been any positive outcome. We really hope this can be taken into consideration so that our hopes for being property owners can come true.”
Cllr Ncube told CITE that they have made applications to the council to be granted ownership of the flats.
“We have used our money from the retention funds as residents to refurbish that place. We really hope that council will have mercy on us as Ward 1 residents,” he said.
“After we are done with the houses we will move to the landscaping. The roads are in a bad state and considering that the flats are next to the Egodini Mall it would be important that they be in a state worthy to be next to a beautiful mall when it’s complete.”