BULAWAYO residents have appealed to the local authority to consider constructing low-cost housing units to reduce the city’s housing backlog currently standing at 110 000.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
This came amid reports that most residential stands in Bulawayo cost between $4 000 and $10 000 and were out of reach of the majority of low-income earners.
“On the issue of housing, there are concerns that the housing waiting list continues to expand while there are no housing projects to deal with the backlog,” Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) spokesperson Zibusiso Dube said.
“What has been more worrying is the fact that housing stands remain expensive, with people in the low-income bracket not able to acquire housing. There is thus a call for more low-income housing projects to be implemented to ensure that even those who are not well off can get housing stands.”
The council last year unveiled 704 housing stands, part of the 1 306 stands that the local authority will be releasing soon as it battles to reduce the city’s housing waiting list.
Residents have also called on council to improve on refuse collection and health delivery services.
“With regard to health services, residents remain concerned that the local authority has not been performing at optimum level, with city council clinics lacking doctors and having insufficient supply of critical equipment and medications. Residents are thus calling for the city council to improve in this regard and ensure that measures are put in place to ensure that clinics are well staffed and equipped, and well stocked with medications,” Dube said.
“On the issue of refuse collection, there is general worry that Bulawayo is not as clean as it used to be, with rubbish strewn all over the place and the streets littered. Residents blame this on fortnightly refuse collection.
“As 2016 commences, there is thus a call for the city council to make efforts to revert to weekly collection of refuse, and to ensure that public spaces, alleys and streets both in the central business district and outside are kept in a clean state.”
Council has a fortnightly garbage collection schedule, but has lately been struggling to adhere to it because of its depleted refuse collection fleet.
Dube said this formed part of BPRA’s expectations on service delivery from the local authority in 2016 following the organisation’s consultative meetings across the city.
Mayor Martin Moyo could not be reached for comment on residents’ concerns.