SOME property owners in Gweru’s Central Business District (CBD) have taken heed of the local authority’s call to spruce up their dilapidated structures that had become an eyesore.
The local authority in November last year gave property owners a three-month ultimatum to spruce up or rehabilitate their structures or risk demolition.
The notice expires at the end of the month.
The local authority said some of the buildings in the CBD had become a danger to members of the public.
In response to the council’s call, renovations of buildings have started on several structures including the former Lilian Fashions Building which was renovated and changed into a flea market that accommodates more than 15 markets.
Along 6th street, buildings are also being renovated.
In an interview, a market owner renting space at one of the buildings, Mr Nyasha Nyamadzawo said the rehabilitation of the structures has helped many people to work comfortably in buildings that are safe and strong.
”This building used to accommodate the shop owner only but after the renovation, it is now accommodating a lot of people with flea markets and we are now able to sell our merchandise at a safe place without having problems with the council or the police,” she said.
Acting town clerk Mr Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe said there are some building owners that have not yet taken measures to spruce up their buildings.
He said the demolition of dilapidated buildings will commence at the end of the grace period.
”The owners of buildings in a dilapidated and neglected state that are situated in the area bound by Tongogara Avenue, First Street, Jason Moyo Avenue and Tenth Street are required in terms of Section 35 of the Act as read with Chapter 2(Section 48 and 49) of the Model Building by-laws to take the necessary corrective measures as regards face-lifting and sprucing up of their respective buildings within a period of three months from date of public notice,” said Mr Chikwekwe.
Town Planner Tapiwa Marerwa said owners of the properties targeted for demolition have been notified.
“We have been approached by various stakeholders pertaining to the state of our buildings in the city. They are very bad. Most of them are generally not being maintained,” he said.
Mr Marerwa noted that some of the buildings have been abandoned and are accommodating vagrants.