Bulawayo Students City, a US$17 million student accommodation complex situated in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, has been completed and is ready for commissioning. The facility was built by the government in collaboration with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).
There are 516 rooms in the multipurpose flat complex that are planned to house 1,023 students and are currently available for occupation. The facility, which is next to NUST (the National University of Science and Technology), is expected to make it easier for university students to find accommodation in the city.
Bulawayo Students City is self-contained since it has fast food outlets, shops, and salons, as well as sporting facilities.
When was the project proposed?
The Riverside-based Bulawayo Students City was first proposed in 2016. It was part of a program known as the University Students and Staff Accommodation Program (USSAP).
The program is a joint venture project of the IDBZ, Old Mutual, Zimnat, and also the Mining Industry Pension Fund. It is expected to be replicated in other cities with universities. Lupane is slated to be the second beneficiary.
In 2018, IDBZ and Wah Kong Enterprises Limited signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the construction of university student and staff housing projects all over Zimbabwe.
Only 15% of students have accommodations in the residence halls on campus. This is due to the rising enrollment at state universities. The remaining 85% rely on accommodations outside of the schools.
What caused the delay in the completion of the Bulawayo Students City?
According to IDBZ Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Thomas Sakala, the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions caused construction delays.
However, Mr. Sakala was unable to provide specific details on the project’s commissioning by President Mnangagwa.
According to Mr. Sakala, IDBZ will lead the construction of housing facilities meant for students and staff at universities. It will also lead the construction of other higher institutions across the country as part of the USSAP.