A TOTAL of 150 000 housing units have been delivered so far under the National Development Strategy (NDS1) through collaboration involving the private sector, local authorities and the Government, a Cabinet minister has said.
Under the NDS1, which spans 2021-2025, the housing delivery pillar is expected to deliver 220 000 housing units by 2025 through collective efforts from stakeholders and all parties involved in human settlements.
In order to achieve the targets the Government has committed to providing a conducive environment that allows broader Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) participation in housing delivery.
Opportunities abound for the private sector such as designing, funding, implementing infrastructure development projects and construction of new smart cities around major towns and cities.
Gaps in offsite infrastructure, water and sewer treatment plants, green energy sources and water bodies are areas that the private sector can partner with the Government, said National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Daniel Garwe.
Speaking during the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (Cifoz) conference in Victoria Falls last week, he said the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa was consistent in fostering private sector-driven economic turnaround and that the construction sector was no exception.
As of September 13, 2022, Minister Garwe said 150 000 housing units had been delivered countrywide, both in rural and urban areas.
“The President has always been advocating for private sector-driven economic turnaround and the construction sector is no exception. Such an undertaking is epitomised by the PPPs frameworks adopted by Government and are yet to be explored by players in the construction industry,” he said.
“The private sector participates in the whole housing infrastructure value chain through planning, designing, funding and implementing infrastructure development projects, in conjunction with the Government.
“The doors are wide open for the private sector to participate in the whole housing infrastructure value chain through planning, designing, funding and implementing infrastructure development projects.”
In the event that the private sector identifies gaps that have potential to stifle such collaboration, the minister said there were always channels to bring those to the attention of the Government.
The minister said the 150 000 housing units were an outcome of close collaboration between the Government, local authorities and other stakeholders in the built environment, including the contribution by individual beneficiaries using their own means of funding.
With 150 000 units already delivered, he said the potential to surpass the 220 000 target by a wider margin was high given the outstanding 70 000 units in three years.
Various players such Old Mutual, BancABC, the local banking unit of pan-African financial services group Atlas Mara, National Building Society Limited and local authorities who have unveiled residential stands are warming up to the massive housing projects.
Demand for housing has risen over the years in tandem with population growth and in a bid to accelerate provision of housing, the Government has adopted several strategies to ensure access to housing by the majority of citizens.
This includes construction of new smart cities around major towns and cities with pilot projects targeted at Figtree, Melfort and Chirundu.
Already the transformation of Figtree settlement into a smart city has started taking shape with technical teams working with Bulilima Rural District Council as the Government moves to fully implement the smart cities concept in line with the recently launched climate policy.
The smart city concept will see the development of Figtree as a tributary town to Bulawayo as efforts to ease congestion in major cities gather pace.