Hlalani Kuhle project to be completed in 16 years

Hlalani Kuhle project to be completed in 16 years
Published: 22 April 2018 (180 Views)
SERVICING of the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle housing scheme in Cowdray Park is likely to remain a pipe-dream with revelations that a total of $49 million is required for the suburb to be fully promoted from the rural growth point set up it is now to a suburb synonymous with a city of Bulawayo's stature.

This according to the City Council's senior public relations officer Mrs Nesisa Mpofu can take a period of 16 years provided the beneficiaries pay the required $15 per month to ensure the provision of basic services such as water, sewer and a navigable road network.

The Hlalani Kuhle stands were issued by the Government in 2012 and the payments for land were made to the appointed housing consortium. Council said the residents were currently supposed to pay for the servicing of the land which was pegged at $3 800 for each stand with a total of $49 million required for servicing the whole area, an amount that residents say defeat the whole purpose of having a low cost housing project.

Mrs Mpofu said residents initially agreed to pay $50 per month towards servicing of the area but when further consultations were carried out, the residents indicated that they wanted the figure to be reduced to $15 per month.

"The residents were advised that they should bear in mind that a further reduction in the monthly contributions also increases the number of years expected to complete the project. It is important to note that the Cowdray Park, Hlalani Kuhle project is a self-financing project whose progress is dependent on residents' contributions.

"With the current contributions it is estimated that the project may now take approximately 16 years based on the newly agreed monthly contributions (US$15 per stand) instead of five years from a proposed initial contribution of $50 per stand," said Mrs Mpofu.

Residents are currently paying for servicing and only new allocations are paying for both the land and servicing.

The biggest challenge that the residents are facing is that of health and sanitation as they do not have any running water or toilets, forcing many to practice open defecation and use blair toilets despite being resident in an urban area. There are concerns that if the project drags for more years as predicted by the city council, the health of the community will further be compromised.

Council defended itself saying they were not entirely responsible for the issues regarding health and sanitation.

"Council inherited the Hlalani Kuhle housing scheme from the Government of Zimbabwe in 2012 with all the challenges faced in the area. By then the scheme consisted of about 9 000 stands that were under development with no services. Those occupying completed houses had resorted to using pit latrines in the absence of a reticulated sewer system. From the date of take over council has made significant servicing," said Mrs Mpofu.

She further said policy was that all stands in the city should be serviced with a reticulated sewer borne system, therefore efforts were aimed at achieving just that with a view to removing the pit latrines and all the associated challenges they pose.

Desperate residence have dug wells in a bid to access water, however, the council said they do not encourage such practices.

"The City of Bulawayo does not encourage the drinking of water from unsafe sources. To date, there are 18 communal stand pipes supplying Hlalani Kuhle stands. This area is supplied with unmetered water. The installed community stand pipes in the area are to enable the residents to have access to clean and safe water and also limit incidences of communicable diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera. The total number of stands with water reticulation is 10 086 to date," added Mrs Mpofu.

During the meeting the residents complained to the council that there has been double allocation of stands in the area.

"When the stands were handed over to the City of Bulawayo, there were a number of challenges which were noted in the area and one of them was the double allocation of stands. After the handover of the project the City of Bulawayo started working on various activities in order to address the irregularities that existed in the suburb. Council has been able to regularise double allocations," said Mrs Mpofu.

She added that this has resulted in one beneficiary remaining while the other was allocated a new stand and this had led to the increase in the number of segments at phase two from 14 segments to 15 segments.

Council further said there may be a few individuals who may have missed the notification to regularise these double stands and encourages them to visit the Cowdray Park Housing Office to clear the anomaly.

Residents are also concerned about Agreements of Sale to which the city council said they issue only after the stand has been fully paid for.

"The City of Bulawayo issues Agreements of Sale once a stand has been fully paid for and serviced with basic services such as water, sewer and roads.

Please note that these services are not yet there for Cowdray Park Hlalani Kuhle area. The majority of the residents have also not fully paid for the servicing costs for the stands as agreed with Council at the handover of the site by Government on the 7th March 2012," they said.

To get title deeds applications were made to the Director of Housing and Community Services through the Housing Officer. The resident should have cleared all council rates and made a payment of $24 administration fee.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) facilitated the dialogue meeting between the concerned residents, BCC and Zesa to discuss issues to do with servicing of the areas.

BPRA Advocacy and Programmes Officer Mr Emmanuel Ndlovu said they called for the meeting to develop a culture of dialogue between residents and the service providers so that they were up to date with developments in the community.

He said officials from Zesa said they were not in a position to erect electricity poles if sewer and road infrastructure were not done, meaning parts of the area would remain not electrified for a while.

"Zesa officials said they are waiting for the Cowdray Park substation to be up early next year which may then power parts of the suburb, Norwood and Nyamandlovu as their current power supply is inadequate to power the area at the moment," he said.

Councillor for the area Clr Collet Ndlovu said some residents were paying for services while some were not. He said about 6 000 stands have been fully serviced while about 9 000 were still pending. A private contractor was subcontracted for the development of roads and other infrastructure but residents said they have not seen any progress and value for their money as they still have poor road networks among other problems.

- zimpapers

Tags: Hlalani, Kahle, Byo,
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