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BCC approves 156 building plans valued over US$8,4m

Bulawayo City Council (BCC)

BULAWAYO City Council has approved a total of 156 building plans valuing a total of over US$8,4 million out of the 237 submitted in March this year.

This was revealed in the latest council minutes in which the director of housing and community services Dictor Khumalo presented an update on the building control section monthly statistics.

“A total of 156 building plans with a value of US$8 451 364 were approved in March 2023, constituting a decrease of 28,76% compared to the previous month’s figure. A total of 237 building plans with a value of US$13 957 809 were submitted in March 2023, a decrease of 10,57% compared to the February 2023 figure,” the minutes read.

“A total of 4 708 inspections were carried out in March 2023 constituting a decrease of 16,32% as compared to the previous month total. Clearing of building plan filing backlogs was progressing well through the assistance of students on attachment. There had not been any positive change on challenges the section was facing, especially transport and the declining staff levels.”

The minutes state that on staff levels, the building control section suffered a setback following the promotion to the town clerk’s department of Themba Ngwenya who was an Administrative Assistant.

The council emphasized that no new building would be occupied without an occupation certificate issued by the local authority.

“As such the department inspectors routinely issued certificates of occupations to new residential developments that complied with the by-laws. New Commercial and Public buildings were inspected by an interdepartmental team before an occupation certificate was issued,” the minutes read.

“On issuing of the occupation certificate, the number of new toilets (was) recorded and forwarded to the financial director for sewerage billing for areas with sewer reticulation. As a result the revenue base of the council was improved.”

According to the minutes, council’s inspection teams followed up on all illegal structures that had so far been identified, issued final notices and defiant illegal developers penalised.

“In March, 15 properties were (penalised) for carrying out construction work without approved plans. On dilapidated and unsightly buildings, five more buildings that needed attention were identified and necessary action was being taken as per our procedures,” the minutes read.

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