Bulawayo City Council has resolved to repossess residential stands whose rates had not been paid for the past 5 years.
The properties will be repossessed and auctioned in line with the Registration and Derelict Lands Act (Chapter 20:20).
More than 2 000 properties are at risk of being repossessed, the majority of which are in low-density residential areas. Recent council minutes read in part:
Those property owners who re-surfaced after the properties had been advertised would have to justify why the council should not conclude that the properties had been abandoned.
The town clerk (Christopher Dube) confirmed that as management, they had agreed that all properties whose rates had not been paid for five years and above should be advertised.
The city council has also made an “unpopular” decision to increase the prices of stands. This was revealed by the chairperson of the finance and development committee Silas Chigora in a supplementary budget presented last week. He said:
In coming up with the new pricing mechanism, the affordability of the stands to the intended beneficiaries was of paramount importance.
It was in this regard that I proposed to use the last approved stand prices, which had been in operation till December 2018, as the basis for determining the new stand prices in RTGS.
The pricing policy for council stands was based on full cost recovery, on servicing costs for newly-serviced residential stands. The full cost recovery basically meant that all costs involved in running a project were fully recouped.
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