Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
Government is engaging in Public and Private Partnerships (PPPs) to accelerate national housing development projects, a cabinet minister has said.
National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Daniel Garwe said such arrangements are very important for the successful implementation of key projects.
He made the remarks during the commissioning on 28 by F14 housing units for civil servants by President Mnangagwa in Beitbridge on Wednesday.
The houses are part of scores of others being constructed under the Beitbridge Redevelopment and the border modernisation programme.
Currently, the government needs US$6,2 million to complete 16 garden flats to accommodate 64 families and an additional 264 housing units are being built for border workers by the Zimborders Consortium in the border town.
“Private-Public Partnerships in human settlements development cannot be over-emphasized as it lessens the burden on one entity going it alone,” said Minister Garwe.
“I do hereby urge all local authorities to be flexible enough to foster viable partnerships that will boost the provision of low-cost housing.
My Ministry shall forge partnerships in an endeavour to complete all stalled housing projects countrywide”.
The Minister also urged the private sector to focus on the refurbishment of dilapidated social amenities in their operational areas.
Without these amenities, he said, settlements cannot be sustainable.
The Minister added that it has been established that the world over, sustainable human settlements development was an engine for economic growth through various ways such as employment and wealth creation in the construction industry.
“This in turn also increases disposable income. In addition, the supply of building materials will strengthen the capacity and viability of manufacturing industries and consequently the general resuscitation of downstream industries.
Given the above, let us all support the sector as it can be a viable gateway to economic growth”.
Minister Garwe said land has also been identified in Beitbridge adjacent to the current F14 houses for the construction of 50 more housing units.
He said they were mobilizing the necessary financial support from Treasury to fully service the land and finish all incomplete housing units on this site.
Minister Garwe said efforts were also underway to achieve the envisaged Vision 2030, of an upper-middle-income society, by facilitating the delivery of 220,000 housing units in the housing delivery sector by 2025.
“All stakeholders shall be engaged in order for them to participate in housing and social amenities delivery.
Concerted efforts are therefore necessary for the sector to facilitate the provision of bulk infrastructure which is critical for sustainable human settlements developments,” he said.
He said his Ministry is putting more emphasis on parceling out fully serviced land.
In cases where infrastructure is lacking in old settlements, he said, sanitization and renewal shall be key.
“Social inclusion, which is the participation in all spheres regardless of gender, age, race, disability issues, shall be prioritised,” he added.
He said the commissioning of the Beitbridge houses coincided with the belated UN World Habitat Day which focuses attention on the state of the world’s towns and cities.
Minister Garwe said the commemorations are being done at a time when his ministry is operationalizing the recently launched Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy.
The policy aims at creating a conducive environment for all stakeholders to tackle issues of ballooning housing backlog, rapid urbanization and pressure on existing infrastructure.