PROPERTY development firm MSN Properties that was granted permission to develop three residential settlements in Bulawayo, is set to embark on a public environmental impact assessment engaging stakeholders in the city.
MSN Properties seeks to establish Lovendale in Rangemore, Nkosilathi and Harrisvale highdensity suburbs.
“These projects may have negative environmental impacts such as loss of vegetation and biodiversity, noise and dust generation among others. They will also have several positive impacts such as employment, provision of housing and amenities, among others,” MSN Properties said in a notice.
MSN Properties has engaged Lagfair Consultants to conduct the environmental impact assessment.
This comes as the Umguza Rural District Council has suspended processing of subdivision permits in Upper and Lower Rangemore, which fall under Mbundane, as the Local Government and Public Works and National Housing ministry headed by Ignatius Chombo has not provided a development plan covering the area.
Bulawayo City Council is battling to cover a housing backlog of more than 100 000 units and private developers have in the past chipped in to assist.
Between 2002 and 2009, council allocated 13 865 stands, including those at Hlalani Kuhle, to private developers, but many of the developers were failing to complete the work forcing the local authority to engage its own contractors to complete outstanding projects.
About 85% of people on Bulawayo’s housing waiting list can only afford low-cost housing while only 15% can afford houses meant for the medium-to-high income earners.
The government formulated a National Housing Policy, but it was hampered by lack of adequate funding while programmes such as Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle have failed to stop the rapidly increasing housing backlog.