The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 14, 1966 — Makokoba, Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil’s old­est African town­ship and one of the most pop­u­lous res­i­den­tial ar­eas, may one day be­come one of the most sought af­ter.

Closely built and for many years over­crowded, Makokoba has a sin­gu­lar and im­por­tant eco­nomic ad­van­tage over other town­ships: its prox­im­ity to the city.

A phased pro­gramme of re­de­vel­op­ing the town­ship is in progress, the coun­cil’s aim be­ing to even­tu­ally to de­mol­ish all houses con­sid­ered to be out­dated.

The pro­gramme is grad­u­ally chang­ing the town­ship, as more and more mod­ern flats go up to re­place the un­de­sir­able build­ings.

Be­sides pro­vid­ing mod­ern homes, the re­de­vel­op­ment thins out the pop­u­la­tion. In ad­di­tion to flats for 500 fam­i­lies have been built at Nguboyenja, and many more fam­i­lies have been moved to new homes at Mag­wegwe from Makokoba to re­duce con­ges­tion.

Be­hind all this is a prac­ti­cal plan by the Coun­cil. This al­lows for the de­mo­li­tion of cer­tain houses while re­tain­ing oth­ers. An official said: “There are cer­tain houses which may still be al­right for 15 to 20 years.”

It would be fool­ish — to say the least — to de­mol­ish them be­cause this would mean an in­crease in in rents many res­i­dents can­not af­ford.

First built by res­i­dents them­selves on land pro­vided by the City Coun­cil in the 1890s, and be­com­ing coun­cil re­spon­si­bil­ity in 1912. Makokoba is prob­a­bly the only town­ship which has com­mu­nal lava­to­ries, taps and ablu­tion blocks.

But it has a swim­ming bath and the most es­sen­tial fa­cil­i­ties of a com­mu­nity — schools, com­mu­nity hall, crèche, boys and women cen­tres.

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