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Property development company, Equity Properties is close to completing phase one of its Golden CT Suburb near Mt Pleasant Heights in Harare that has created job opportunities for over 100 people.

An official with the company said the jobs had benefited both their workers and workers from other organisations that they had subcontracted.

The official said they had since secured a compliance licence, which will enable them to start transferring ownership to 80 clients that bought stand under the project.

This was after the company has managed to satisfy the requirements of the Harare City Council.

The official said they were glad that they were concluding phase one after having to attend to additional requirements from the Harare City Council that had not been specified in the original approved plans. This had the net effect of increasing costs and this affected the period of completion of the project.

“When we did the initial work we thought we were close to completing first phase and we sought compliance and were given additional requirements that involved putting in a double layer of tar on the roads as a way of dealing with the issue of potholes, stand access culvert and lined storm drains to avoid erosion.

“What this did was to push up the design costs by an additional US$2,43 per square metre from the US$18 per square meter that we have charged initially as clients bought into the project in anticipation that we will achieve compliance.

“We then engaged the residents association and asked clients to top up as provided in clause 6.10 of the agreement of sale they agreed but not all had the money and we decided to borrow from the market to ensure that we meet the additional demands from Harare City Council to achieve compliance and that we have achieved,” said the official.

In addition he said Zimra in 2011 also directed Equity remit VAT on the sale of all its stands sold from 2009 and also levied penalties on the unpaid VAT since 2009.

“We decided to pay off the penalties and passed on the other costs to the stand holders as agreed in our agreements of sale.

“According to section 6,9 of the agreement of sale we signed with our clients provides for the purchaser to pay a percentage of the value of the stand as endowment to the statutory authority at the time of transfer of the property as well as value added tax or sales tax should it be required by the statutory authority before the transfer of the property.

“All these issues were communicated in letters that we sent to clients on December 6 last year and February 6 this year.

“It is important that those who have not paid in both respects do so because we need to repay the loan so that we can affect transfers. Delays will not only affect those with arrears but those that are paid up,” he said.

The official said they have since extended the period for payment by six months to allow the clients sufficient time to raise the money to pay.

He said the property firm is now working on obtaining compliance for phases two to seven of the project, which has about 200 stands.

Meanwhile the decision by the Harare City Council to insist on double layer of tar on roads has been well received by stakeholders as a positive move towards dealing with potholes while the lining of drains was key in preventing soil erosion.

They, however, urged the council to ensure that the requirements apply to all new development.

Source : The Herald