The Bulawayo City Council has decided to take a tougher stance on individual developers who do not finish building within 24 months of purchasing residential stands.
The council cancelled agreements of sale with 36 individuals in the low-density suburbs last week and gave two others three months to complete building or have their agreements cancelled as well.
Nineteen of the stands are in Famona, 12 in High Mount, one in Khumalo and two each in Marvel and Paddonhurst.
The two who were given three months to finish building are in High Mount.
The council decided to cancel the agreements because the stand holders were denying the council revenue since they were not paying rates. They were also holding onto the stands when demand was quite high.
Ald Charles Mpofu said while he agreed in principle with the idea of cancelling the agreements of sale, the council should take cognisance of the problems developers were facing in view of the present economic crisis.
He said at times delays were caused by council as it took time to approve plans and to address other concerns by developers.
Executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube said the council was very compassionate and at times bent over backwards to accommodate residents too much.
In this case developers had not done any work for at least seven years. One of the developers was given the stand nearly 20 years ago.
At least three of the stands were bought for less than $1 500, each, which indicates how strong the local currency still was.