Addressing stakeholders soon after the signing ceremony, Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said the two local authorities decided to formalise the residential area following an invasion by illegal settlers.
"The process has involved wide consultation between the two local authorities and government departments and the MoU is a coming-together of different mindsets to chart a way forward," he said.
"There are a lot of pieces of legislation ranging from the Constitution, the Urban Councils Act, the Regional Town and Country Planning Act and pieces of statutory instruments that have been interrogated in coming up with this MoU."
Moyo said the setting-up of the residential area would go a long way in reducing the housing backlog, which has persisted for decades.
"Land owners and developers have identified the opportunity to fill this gap by subdividing and servicing stands," he said.
"Their role will be the key in the development of the city.
"As a local authority, we are mandated to deliver services to the residents."
Moyo said urbanisation had been the key driver to the formulation of the MoU.
"The need for urban housing has spread beyond the current boundaries of the city," he continued.
"Embundane and Emthunzini have sprung up as major urban developments without the complementary services of water, sewer, refuse collection and roads.
"This is a ticking time bomb for both local authorities, which needed to be addressed urgently.
"Urban sprawl is a national issue and does not only affect Bulawayo.
"As policymakers, we have seen it fit to address our problems jointly and it is my wish that our consolidated effort will see us gaining from this partnership."
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