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Redcliff suspends home sales

News
REDCLIFF Town Council has suspended the sale of its dilapidated Torwood houses owing to high levels of poverty and cash crisis faced by thousands of Ziscosteel employees currently occupying them.

REDCLIFF Town Council has suspended the sale of its dilapidated Torwood houses owing to high levels of poverty and cash crisis faced by thousands of Ziscosteel employees currently occupying them.

BLESSED MHLANGA STAFF REPORTER

Redcliff deputy mayor Clayton Masiyatsva said council had resolved to suspend a 2012 resolution to sell the houses by giving first option to sitting tenants.

“We have realised that most of the people who call these houses home are employed by Ziscosteel and have not been paid any meaningful salaries for over two years and, therefore, will not be able to buy them, so we suspended the sale,” said Masiyatsva.

Council acquired a $500 000 loan from the government to rehabilitate close to 850 housing units in Torwood which previously belonged to fallen steel giant Ziscosteel.

Mayor Freddy Kapuya, then a special interest councillor, was awarded the lucrative contract to upgrade the homes ahead of the sale through his company Wack Drive properties.

Part of the money was used to construct toilets for the houses built in 1942 with no electricity. Tenants were using communal toilets.

The three-roomed houses previously valued at around $7 000 each were supposed to be sold to allow council to service its debt, realise a small profit which would then be used to pay off some council loans now pegged at $7 million.

Masiyatva said council would only consider selling the houses after operations at Ziscosteel resume because selling now would mean opening the market for the houses to other people of means.

“The people staying in the houses are currently failing to pay rentals of as little as $15 per month to council and it would be foolish for us to think they can raise the money to buy the houses,” he said.

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