Bulawayo City Council


Valuation Services


The Valuation Section is under the department of the Chamber Secretary and headed by the City Valuer.

Enabling Legislature for The Creation of Valuation Office

The Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15 provides the enabling legislature for the creation of the valuation office.

SECTION 237: Appointment of Valuation Officer (City Valuer)

The above section is quoted below for easy of reference.

(1) Every Council:

(a) Shall appoint a Valuation Officer to make valuations and assessments and prepare valuation rolls provided for in this part and to amend and correct such valuations, assessments and valuation rolls

(b) May appoint Assistant Valuation Officers to assist the Valuation Officer in carrying out his duties under this part.

Functions of The Office

  • Valuation of all properties for rating purposes
  • Valuation of Council properties for insurance
  • Valuation of Council properties for letting purposes
  • Valuation of private properties for acquisition (including compulsory)
  • Valuation of Council properties for sale (including stands)
  • Estimation of building costs
  • Conducting auctions on behalf of Council including stray animals
  • Conducting site inspections for compliance with respect to conditions and terms of sale of Council stands.

General Valuation Roll

It is a list/register of properties situated within the boundaries of a given local authority compiled for rating purposes.

Particulars of a Valuation Roll

A valuation roll contains the following information among others:

  • The name of the registered owner of the property
  • The description of property (both stand number and the street address)
  • The land area or the extent of the land
  • The valuation of the property split between the value of land and improvements.

Lifespan of a Valuation Roll

Interval between the date the new valuation roll becomes effective and the date the current roll became effective should not be less than three years or more than ten years. However, the period can be extended by a further 5 years subject to a Ministerial consent by a statutory instrument.

Which Properties are Rateable

All properties within Council are rateable except:

(a) property owned by the state

(b) property owned by Council

(c) property exempt from paying rates under Section 270 of the Urban Councils Act.

Which Properties are Exempt from Rates: SECTION 270 of The Urban Councils Act

All property which is used exclusively for the following uses are exempt from paying rates:

(a) a public religious worship and religious education.

(b) a public library, museum, art gallery, museum of natural history or fine arts.

(c) a university, college, primary or secondary school, nursery school, boarding house or hostel used in connection with education.

(d) a public institution for aged persons or mentally or physically handicapped persons, or charitable purpose, hospital or orphanage, nurses’ home.

(e) a public cemetery or crematorium.

(f) an amateur theatre, boy scout and girl guides.

However, should a portion of the above properties be used for monetary gain, the property become rateable in whole or portion.

Application for Exemptions

No property is exempt from paying rates because of the use it is put unless an application is made and approved by Council.

Basis of Valuation for Pating Purposes

It is the estimated price which a buyer would be willing to give the seller and the seller willing to accept if the property valued were brought to a voluntary sale in the open market, in case of a general valuation at the notional date of valuation as fixed by Council.

Supplementary Valuation Rolls

During the currency of the General Valuation Roll (between 3 and 10 years or 15 years), amendments to the roll could be done when either of the following has occurred:-

(a) any property not appearing on the current roll

(b) any property whose value has been affected by:

(i) alterations, additions or demolitions.

(ii) A town planning scheme.

(iii) Flood or other disaster.

(c) any property which has been consolidated or subdivided.

(d) Any property with errors with respect to the current roll.

Basis of Pricing Council Stands

There are various methods which Council could have adopted to arrive at stand selling prices. The concept of full cost recovery has been identified as the most appropriate approach.

Here all costs pertinent to land servicing are added together including the intrinsic land value to arrive at the final stand price.

Among others, the services include: survey costs, town planning fees, road net works, reticulated water and sewerage, public lighting and project fees.

Current Rates Applicable to Classes of Land

Residential Land

Type of Land Rate per Square metre Excluding VAT Average Stand Size Comments
High density USD 6.80 200 m2 1st 200 m2 at full rate
Balance at half rate
Medium density USD 7.00 600 m2 1st 600 m2 at full rate
Balance at half rate
Low density USD 7.50 1 200 m2 1st 1 200 m2 at full rate
Balance at half rate

Industrial Land

Type of Land Rate per Square metre Excluding VAT Average Stand Size Comments
Light industry USD 4.00 2 000 m2 1st 2 000m2 at USD 4.00
Balance at half rate
Heavy industry USD 5.00 4 000 m2 1st 4 000m2 at USD 5.00
Balance at half rate

Commercial Bays

These attract a flat rate of USD 15.00 per square metre.

Costing of Building Plans Submitted for Approval and Plan Fees

Plan fees are payable at a rate of 1% of the total estimated cost of the construction.

Applicable Rates of Construction

It must be noted that Council rates are subsidised and account for approximately a quarter of the actual costs.

Type of Property Estimate Cost per Square Metre
1 High density low cost housing USD 70.00
2 Typical medium density tiled roof with single bathroom USD 100.00
3 Higher quality low density 3 bed roomed house with tiled roof and two bathrooms USD 125.00
4 Standard shops USD 100.00
5 Standard offices USD 110.00
6 Standard factories USD 80.00
7 Factories with lots of space and ablutions USD 85.00
  • Call Centre Contacts:
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  • callcentre@citybyo.co.zw
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