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Six months grace period for Hlalani Kuhle beneficiaries

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has granted a further six months grace period to all Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle housing beneficiaries to build and develop their stands failure to which they would be repossessed.

The government in 2009 handed over the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle Housing Project to the city council and assigned the latter to deal with the issue of double allocation of stands.

“A further six months building period will be given to all beneficiaries through written notices. The beneficiaries will be given the first option to re-purchase the stands at a price recommended by City Valuer,” read the latest Council minutes.

Director of Housing and Community Services, Dictor Khumalo, reported on August 5, 2021, according to the Council report that the directive from the government ordered the local authority to resolve the challenges of double allocations without prejudicing those beneficiaries with genuine need for shelter.

“A total of noncompliance notices were sent to 103 beneficiaries. Out of those 54 responded positively while 55 beneficiaries did not. These non-compliance notices were sent between October and November 2020. A final re-check was done in June 2021,” the minutes read.

“First priority is to be given to beneficiaries who had already constructed structures on the stands. Second priority is to observe those beneficiaries who had paid development fees to the Bulawayo Home Seekers Consortium Trust and Lease fees to Council. Beneficiaries are to obtain Lease Agreement and pay for the required Lease fees to Council.”

The minutes highlighted that the housing scheme was a self-help project where beneficiaries contributed in the servicing of their stands.

A total schedule of 49 stands which were in segment three and eight were allocated during the years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

“The stands were at different levels of development. The beneficiaries have not complied with Council Resolution and policies as well as cabinet decisions of May 2009. The department had circulated such reports on non-compliance to other departments and no adverse comments have been received. It is therefore the department‘s view that the stands be repossessed and be used first to solve outstanding double allocations,” the minutes read.

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