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Council rejects FBC housing proposal

The Bulawayo City Council has rejected a bid by FBC Building Society, which sought a joint partnership in developing 517 high density residential stands in Luveve suburb.

Simela Dube the CIty of Bulawayo Director of Engineering addresses members of the media in a consultative meeting hel in the council chambers yesterday

Following an engagement over the proposed deal, council’s director of engineering services, Engineer Simela Dube, said a proposal was forwarded to FBC to look and determine whether it be interested in financing the development of Luveve North high density residential project.

In terms of the proposal, latest council minutes show, the developer was expected to provide funding for the provision of the key services, over and above the outfall sewer and water mains (offsite infrastructure) so as to facilitate linking of onsite infrastructure services.

The services include title survey of the stands, water reticulation, sewer reticulation, roads construction and electricity reticulation.

“In their response to the proposal FBC indicated that they would prefer a joint venture partnership where they provide funding for the services indicated above. Council would provide land and technical expertise,” said Eng Dube.

“Once servicing is complete, the stands would then be shared between the two parties on percentages to be determined by monetary contribution of each party.”

Although the proposed layout of the stands had been submitted to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for approval in terms of the Urban Councils Act, the councillors felt the FBC proposal was against the local authority’s policy.

“From FBC’s response, it would appear that they are not in favour of availing funds for council to implement the project,” said the local authority.

“In view of this, the response to our proposal by FBC is not supported. It is recommended that the proposal for the joint venture with FBC be not acceded to.”

Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube warned that such a proposal would result in expensive houses.

The city is battling a ballooning housing waiting list of more than 100 000.

Luveve North is situated on the east of the Luveve cemetery on a piece of land that lies between the cemetery and Luveve 3, which is commonly referred to as ‘Emangcwabeni’.

The project consists of 517 high density residential stands, measuring an average of 300 square metres.

Councillor James Sithole said the FBC bid was not consistent with council policy and as such he did not support the application adding that such processes should go through the tender system.

Other councillors and staff also concurred.

The council said its thrust now was to access finance from financial institutions and service stands.

The financial institutions would then recoup their funds from serviced stands. The Chronicle