Bulawayo rejects NSSA housing project
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Councillors said NSSA had failed to develop land that it had been given by the local authority before and branded it an organisation of "crooks."
They said the authority's proposal reduced council to a by-stander in the project, which they said also went against a previous resolution barring the sale of land to private developers.
According to the latest council report, council had invited NSSA into a partnership to develop 882 low-income residential stands at a cost of $2 092 651 in Luveve 5.
The authority made a counter offer proposing to service the stands and build at least 100 houses with a project budget of $6,5 million.
"In return, council would be endowed with at least 10 percent of the serviced stands or a number to be agreed on based on the value of the unserviced/serviced land," read the report.
During the full council meeting in the council chambers on Wednesday, Ward 10's councillor Prince Dube tried to get fellow councillors to reverse the decision, without success.
"NSSA gets its money from workers, including those in Bulawayo. This project is an attempt to plough back to the city. It is also an opportunity for progress and development. It would be unfair to residents to turn them down," said Clr Dube.
Clr Benjamin Ndlovu of Ward 18 said NSSA was run by "crooks" and therefore did not deserve to be given another chance to develop stands in the city.
"They are crooks of the highest order. They robbed workers of their pensions after years of working. They are crooks who failed long ago and want to come in Bulawayo and rob people again," said Clr Ndlovu.
Clr Jennifer Bent of Ward 6 agreed with him, saying if NSSA was given the land, it would not benefit the city.
"This organisation has been collecting people's monies since 1993, it is not worth it. I think awarding them the land would be a bit criminal and would not help the city," said Clr Bent.
The Deputy Mayor, Clr Amen Mpofu, reminded councillors that NSSA had been given land before and it had failed to develop it.
The council report shows that the said land was in Pumula South.
"It would be recalled that council of 1 December 2010, resolved that 700 residential stands in Pumula South offered to NSSA be repossessed as the organisation had failed, in terms of council resolution of 12 February 2006, to develop within the required time period," read the report.
The councillor for Ward 27, Clr Siboniso Khumalo, said he was not happy with the marginal role council would play in the proposed development.
"Council has only been offered the roles of project team member and project quality controller, meaning they have been reduced to by-standers.
"It is councillors' job to make residents lives easier. These people were given land in my ward and it was taken away despite an extension that was granted, after they failed to develop it. We would be doing a good job by not giving them another chance," said Clr Khumalo.
Councillors agreed that the new council strategy of pre-selling stands to get money to develop them was best as private contractors often built sub-standard houses.
They then resolved that; "The application by NSSA be not acceded to and instead, the 882 unserviced and unsurveyed residential stands in Luveve 5 be sold by council to beneficiaries on a pre-sell basis."
A comment could not be obtained from NSSA's public relations consultant, Mr Mike Hamilton.
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