Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
HIGH rise buildings are set to be constructed at Maphisa Growth Point in Matobo District, Matabeleland South.
Government has approved the growth point”s expansion plan in a development expected to ease the housing backlog. Shortage of land had seen the housing waiting list increasing to 2 500 in the area.
Immaculate houses are sprouting in Maphisa residential area while at the business centre there is also evidence of modern buildings being constructed. Matobo Rural District Council’s (Matobo RDC) growth is supported by a thriving gold mining industry as well as diasporans who want to invest back home.
Matobo RDC chief executive officer Mr Elvis Sibanda said the expansion plan was approved after the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development ascertained that there were no gold deposits in the land earmarked for residential stands. He said the local authority has engaged surveyors to start pegging the stands.
“The approved layout plan only has about 500 stands which is not enough to accommodate the waiting list demand which now has over 2 500 people. As a local authority we have a high level of demand for residential, commercial and industrial stands. Our land is very finite at the moment and we are in the process of expanding the growth point,” he said.
“We are currently engaging our traditional leaders so that we can have our growth point expanded to a certain level that will enable us to establish some residential stands over the approved layout plan that we have. This growth point is surrounded by communal areas. We have households adjacent to the communal areas and it is also necessary because we have to contribute to the economic development of this nation.”
Mr Sibanda said mining activities and diaspora community investing back home were bankrolling most of the development projects in Maphisa Growth Point.
“This place is rich in terms of gold. We have miners in their numbers and they are investing in infrastructure development. That is housing development and the commercial sector and these are the people who are a cash cow of the district.
The diaspora community is contributing positively; these are some of the stakeholders who have infrastructure in the district. Most of the businesses that are operating here are based in South Africa. This is a Rand area and they are contributing and investing a lot in terms of businesses and housing delivery services,” said Mr Sibanda.
Matobo District Development Co-ordinator Mr Obey Chaputsira said Government is also going to construct flats in line with the national trajectory of saving land.
“Under the new layout plan that was recently approved by Government, 30 percent of those stands have been reserved for high rise buildings mainly to save land and also to modernise the area. Those (flats) would be very modern buildings that are going to be constructed as we move towards meeting President Mnangagwa”s vision of making the country achieve an upper middle-income economy by 2030. It will go a long way in reducing the housing backlog that is currently in the district,” said Mr Chaputsira.
Meanwhile, Government is reconstructing homes for 13 flood victims in Matobo district. At least 70 homes were damaged by rains and 13 were extensively destroyed leading to Government intervening and building modern homes for them. Mr Chaputsira said the houses for the affected villagers cut across Matobo district and should be completed by the end of next month.
“After carrying out our assessment together with Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF), out of the 70 households we realised that 13 were the most affected and as a district we came to a resolution that let’s reconstruct those 13 homes by building two-roomed houses basing on a plan that was approved by council last year,” said Mr Chaputsira.
“Due to climate change, we are experiencing some hazards which we were not experiencing in the past. As a district, we came up with a standard two-roomed house, that we are using for that construction. Right now, the houses are at window level and we expect to have completed them next month. We really appreciate the assistance from ZRBF which is funding the construction because our communities were facing accommodation challenges.”