Old Mutual, CABS team up in housing venture


In what could turn out to be one of the biggest housing developments in Bulawayo, Old Mutual and the Central Africa Building Society (CABS) are planning to build 1 500 houses in Zimbabwe’s second city.

The two companies intend to build 750 houses in Nkulumane and another 750 in Pumula South, both around Nkulumane Shopping Complex, for people on the council’s housing waiting list.

Old Mutual, the country’s largest insurance company, owns the shopping complex, and will be the consultants for the housing project.

CABS, the country’s biggest building society, which is also owned by Old Mutual, would buy the stands and advance bonds to beneficiaries.

The Bulawayo City Council approved the project in principle at its meeting last Wednesday.

The council’s engineering department is now identifying the stands, while the department of housing is working with the developers on appropriate designs and costing. The city valuer will determine the prices of the land.

According to the latest council minutes, Old Mutual was keen to see the project through because it would promote business at its shopping complex.

There have been reports that the complex was gradually turning into a white elephant as tenants were moving out because they could not afford the increasing rentals.

The complex is already benefiting from a country bus terminus adjacent to it. The terminus also caters for buses to Botswana.

Bulawayo has a housing waiting list of more than 60 000.

Though there are several private housing developers in Bulawayo, the municipality recently complained that almost all were flouting council requirements that they should only allocate stands and houses to people on its waiting list.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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