THE BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has raked in over US$5,4 million from building plans approvals as of August this year, latest council minutes show.
BCC said on a month-on-month basis, revenues from building plans approvals went up 14,98% in August compared to the previous month.
“A total of 261 building plans with a value of US$5 473 835 were approved in August 2022, constituting an increase of 14,98% compared to the previous month’s figure. A total of 228 building plans with a value of US$11 621 096 were submitted in August 2022, a decrease of 34.1% compared to the July 2022 figure,” read part of the minutes under the building control section.
“This decrease was attributable to the high US dollar plan fees rates which had since been reviewed downwards. A total of 3 371 inspections were carried out in August 2022 constituting a decrease of 4,32% as compared to the previous month total,” BCC said.
The council noted that building inspectors still faced transport challenges. To improve the situation, council procured some vehicles for its officers.
It was also revealed that there were vacant positions within the department, especially on the part of building inspectors.
“The section was currently working towards embracing (Geographic Information System) GIS technology in building control. Currently, the system which was to be used for building inspections was under trial run. ,” the minutes read.
The local authority said in terms of the model building by-laws (1977), Chapter 2, Sections 44 and 46, no new building should be occupied without an occupation certificate issued by the local authority.
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“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.
“On issuing of the occupation certificate the number of new toilets were recorded and forwarded to the financial director (Kempton Ndimande) for sewerage billing for areas with sewer reticulation. As a result the revenue base of thecouncil was improved,” the minutes read.