BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is losing potential revenue from leasing out its buildings as tenants have deserted dilapidated properties.
BY SILAS NKALA
This was revealed in the latest council minutes in which city fathers expressed concern over the increase in the number of tenants deserting business premises in the city.
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni, during a full council meeting, said council was losing revenue because tenants were snubbing its dilapidated buildings.
“The premises were lying idle and now are dilapidated,” Mguni said.
He said the estates department should spruce up the properties so that they were able to lure people to occupy them. This, Mguni said, would bring revenue to council.
He applauded government for availing grants to refurbish Thorngrove Hospital.
“Councillor Silas Chigora made reference to Ascot Race Course which has been lying idle for a long time now.
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“He (Councillor Chigora) noted with concern that the property had been tendered out but had no takers.
“He suggested that if the premises had no takers, other options should be considered to have the premises occupied.
“He said a policy should be adopted to consider expression of interest if the tender system failed to yield results,” Mguni said.
Councillor Felix Mhaka added that the Ascot Race Course had been tendered out but the premises had been surrendered back to council because of rental issues.
“The rentals did not match with the state of the property (dilapidated).
“He said the department should work on a timeframe and evaluate whether there had been any progress or hindrances.
“Councillor Mlandu Ncube (deputy mayor) also said council had previously passed a resolution that premises which had no takers should be retendered,” the minutes read.
“The assistant director of housing and community services Thabani Ncube said the COVID-19 pandemic had hindered productivity,” he said.
Council did not disclose how much it was losing in potential revenue from the dilapidated properties, but a survey by Southern Eye showed that there were many properties which were unoccupied because of their sorry state.
BCC in October announced a proposed supplementary budget for the remaining months of year 2020 of $2,85 billion at the same time proposing a $17,1 billion 2021 budget.