Bulawayo enjoyed a building boom last year, though this was largely at individual level, with the council approving plans valued at $18.6 billion, a five-fold increase from the previous year.
There were no major industrial or municipal works. The council is, however, currently servicing nearly 450 stands in the middle-density suburb of Mahatshula and another 120 in Parklands, a low-density suburb. The servicing is being carried out under the central bank’s productive sector facility.
November recorded the highest activity, with $3.2 billion worth of plans being approved. In September, plans worth $2.5 billion were approved, while the figure dropped to $1.5 billion in December. The council approved plans worth only $3.9 billion in 2003.
Analysts say construction activity usually indicates an economic boom that is to follow, but a local supplier of quarry stone has complained about a slump in demand and has threatened to reduce working hours.