LEADING mortgage lender, Cabs, has applied to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) requesting to purchase additional 200 residential stands in Pumula South to make its housing project viable, latest council minutes show.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
According to the latest council minutes, Cabs, a subsidiary of Old Mutual Zimbabwe, has written to BCC requesting for additional land.
Council in 2005 resolved to sell 1 983 residential stands in Nkulumane 1 Phase 3 and Pumula South Phase 3 to Cabs to service and develop residential houses.
On receiving the offer letter for the stands, council said Cabs board decided to accept only 845 stands out of the original 1 983 stands, that is, 589 residential stands in Nkulumane 1 Phase 3 and 273 residential stands in Pumula South Phase 3.
CABS then decided to phase their development, with the first phase comprising of 165 stands in Nkulumane1 Phase 3 and 98 stands in Pumula South Phase 3.
This phase is now fully developed, council said.
“The company now intends to embark on the development of phase 2 of the project. In order to service these stands there is need to put up an outfall sewer which is about 800 metres long at a cost of $115 000 to service the stands,” read the minutes in part.
“CABS has, therefore, written to apply to purchase additional stands so as to cushion them as they intend to put up this outfall sewer”.
In its application letter, Cabs said the additional cost of the outfall sewer was negatively impacting the servicing cost and hence the selling price of stands. It said the outfall sewer is however, critical and it will help unlock development in the surrounding area.
“It is against the above background that we request for additional 200 stands in Pumula South. There is a school site abutting the Pumula South scheme which we understand some portions of it could be considered for residential development,” reads part of the application.
“This, if accepted, will bring the total number of available stands to 596 and these will be pre-sold and serviced under phase 1. The sharing of the outfall sewer cost by a bigger number of stands will help improve affordability.
If the additional stands are not available stands prices for the available 396 stands will have to be increased”.
Cabs said it has commenced pre-selling on Pumula South stands and demand was very exciting. It now plans to commence servicing after pre-selling 25% of the available stands and, as such, look forward to a positive response on our request for additional stands.
Cabs is also set to build over 2 700 housing units in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane and Pumula South high-density suburbs.
The construction of the houses under the project is being done under the Old Mutual Housing Fund aimed at easing accommodation challenges in the country.
The first project under a similar fund was done in Budiriro high-density suburb in Harare, where
2 795 houses were built.
The Budiriro Housing Project saw Old Mutual, through its subsidiary, injecting $15 million into the project.