Shamiso Dzingire, Business Reporter
THE Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) says the contractor in the $12 million National University of Science and Technology students’ hostels project is expected on-site this week for preliminary works.
Last week, IDBZ chief executive officer Mr Zondo Sakala told Business Chronicle that the Bulawayo City Council planning department had given the nod to the project.
Initially, BCC had rejected the proposal to build the hostels saying the land had already been earmarked for town houses.
The project is expected to accommodate 1 023 students.
“We expect the contractor to move on-site next week (this week),” Mr Sakala said in an interview last week.
The project was expected to have taken off last year but hung in the balance due to objections by both BCC and residents.
Residents from neighbouring Selborne Park had raised objections to the students’ accommodation complex to be built off campus arguing that the development would downgrade the status of the up-market residential area.
IDBZ and Wah Kong Enterprises Limited last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate in the construction of the university students and staff accommodation project across the country.
“Subject to agreeing on the terms and conditions of the envisaged EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), and Finance arrangement, the first beneficiaries will be Lupane, Bindura and Chinhoyi universities,” said Mr Sakala.
Due to increased enrolment figures at State universities, only 15 percent of students have accommodation at the campus halls of residence while the rest rely on lodgings in areas surrounding the universities.
The past two decades have recorded a surge in the number of enrolments at universities and the current number is estimated to be more than 70 000 with only 11 000 having accommodation provided by the institutions.
The Government has called for increased investment in the learning space, accommodation facilities, recreational and other supporting facilities.