Bulawayo residents have lamented the exorbitant prices for residential stands unveiled by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) on Thursday saying that most residents will not able to afford them.
In a statement, the Town Clerk announced that the local authority was selling 117 residential stands in Pumula South.
The stands are available in 200 and 476 square metres with the former going US$5400 and the latter pegged at US$10 000.
Successful applicants would be required to pay a deposit of 35 percent and a 14.5 percent VAT of the purchase price with the balance payable over six months.
Dube added that the stands are partially serviced.
“Once the six-monthly instalment period lapses any non-compliant beneficiaries will lose their stands and be refunded in terms of the Council procedure. Those beneficiaries with full cash payments will have an added advantage,” he said.
However, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) secretary for administration Thembelani Dube said the price of the stands is beyond the reach of many house seekers.
“The price of the Pumula South stands are beyond the reach of the majority poor prospective homeowners considering the lag time given for the full amount to be paid, taking into account that the Zimbabwean workers are earning Zimbabwe dollar salaries,” said Dube.
“As Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) we are hoping that these are not the same stands that were sold in 2016 to the residents, who have since been told to pay a top up of $US6000 broken as follows: Water and Sewerage servicing $US3300, servicing of roads $US2700, over and above the money the beneficiaries paid in 2016 when the United States dollar and the Zimbabwe dollar were at par. If those are the same stands, BCC will have a case to answer.”
He said traditionally BCC stands required one to pay a 25 percent deposit then the remaining 75 percent payable over 24 months.
In addition, Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) chairperson, Winos Dube added said the pricing will only benefit those based outside Bulawayo and those in the diaspora.
“This is a move which is going to be difficult to most of our people who are actually looking for stands to build their own properties, especially who are locally based here. This will only give an opportunity to those who are in the diaspora, those are the people that can most probably try to afford these stands because they have the foreign currency but the residents who are here and most of them on the waiting list they will hardly afford this because one thing, people don’t have this forex,” said Dube.
“It is really a serious area of concern in which we are saying how many of our people will afford for instance I am looking at the Bulawayo community as far as I know it, people are really struggling to make ends meet and are struggling to come up with this, I am seeing a situation where we will have perhaps outsiders coming to take over these stands and by outsiders I mean those who are coming outside Bulawayo community, perhaps they might be having this foreign currency”
The city’s housing waiting list has ballooned to more than 130 000 with the local authority blamed for failing to avail adequate housing stands.