DEVELOPMENT of the Empumalanga West Housing Project in Hwange has reportedly stalled after contractors demanded to be paid in foreign currency.
This has reportedly forced beneficiaries to pledge to raise about US$100 000 needed to service the 450 stands.
In 2017, the Hwange Local Board (HLB) contracted two companies, Asphalt Construction and RM Construction to develop Empumalanga West Housing stands.
Initially, the HLB engaged the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to service the stands and the two firms were roped in for the job.
HLB noted that over 700 beneficiaries were allocated stands in areas that cannot be developed after an oversight by previous developers that had been contracted to do the work.
HLB acting town secretary Paulos Mabhureni told Southern Eye that the National Housing and Social Amenities ministry said: “At a meeting held between officials from the National Housing and Social Amenities ministry, HLB and beneficiaries of Empumalanga West Housing Project about two weeks ago, it was agreed that beneficiaries of residential stands, which are located in Phase One of the scheme would be allowed to move in and start construction work before end of June.
“This arrangement was reached after beneficiaries pledged to embark on crowdfunding, so as to raise about US$100 000, which is the amount needed to fully service 450 stands, which make up Phase One of the project.
“It was further agreed that cash contributed by beneficiaries would be deposited in the ministry’s account, with the ministry also being responsible for procurement of requisite materials. The beneficiaries made an undertaking to contribute US$100 each towards the full servicing of phase one of the project.”
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He said on its part, council would be required to hand over to the developer — in this case the ministry — a partial completion certificate.
“Over 700 beneficiaries were allocated stands in undevelopable areas after an anomaly by previous developers that had been contracted to do the work. However, council has since identified land to re-allocate these individuals. The new site is currently awaiting layout plan approval from the Department of Physical Planning.
“The servicing of Empumalanga West Housing Project is nearing completion with water reticulation installation being 100% complete while sewer is 95% complete and road network construction is at 90% complete,” he said.