By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Victoria Falls City Council mayor Somvelo Dlamini has called on the local authority to scrap the housing waiting list, amid observations that the city has exhausted all of its land for both residential and commercial purposes.
Dlamini put the suggestion before a full council meeting held this week with the local authority sitting on over 18 000 applications for residential stands.
His call comes at a time when the council has announced that it will allocate about 500 stands to home seekers both in the high and medium-density suburbs.
“The report that we got from the council is that they are above 18 000 and this week we had 147 applications, so do we mean to say we just leave it open, people apply or it will cause a scenario where some will say I have been paying since 2001 and nothing has happened,” said Cllr Dlamini.
“What measures are we putting in place as a council to solve this?“
In response, chairperson of the housing department councillor Nkayiso Sibindi said there was nothing much they could do, likening the scenario to that of a job application.
“You cannot stop someone from applying, it’s the same as applying for a job, curriculum vitae can be submitted in large quantities, but the one that we want, we pick and offer employment, so there is nothing that we can do about that.”
“You are expected to give a professional answer,” Dlamini charged at Sibindi.
The mayor’s response was immediately interjected by his deputy Patricia Mwale who suggested that there was a need for the council to craft a master plan that will allow the city to acquire more land.
She also suggested the introduction of by-laws to monitor the process.
“It’s a good observation your Worship, but our masterplan is the one that has hindered us to come up with proper land decisions, unless you are saying we should come up with by-laws to say if you reach this number there should be a cut-off and for how many years.”
The Town Clerk Ronnie Dube said the council was going to look into the matter.
“We are going to apply our minds, it’s an issue which we had not thought of, but what is also important is what the deputy mayor has raised to say let’s look for land that we can allocate to our people so I think we will go back as management and see how best we can resolve this issue.”