ZIMBABWE is inching closer to meeting its 220 000 housing units by 2025 target with synergies between Government and the private sector affording the nation modern, decent and affordable housing in line with Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle-class economy.
Yesterday, President Mnangagwa launched the Fontaine Ridge Housing Project in Harare West, a project that is being funded by FBC Bank and its building society, which is also demonstrative of the centrality of the private sector in the country’s modernisation as enunciated in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
Already, out of a target of 220 000 houses, 180 000 have been built with projects both from the public and private sector taking shape in every part of the country, in development that leaves no one and no place behind.
The thrust, President Mnangagwa said, is to build modern infrastructure that will improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans through the fulfilment of Vision 2030, to become an upper middle-class economy.
“The Second Republic stands ready to collaborate with key stakeholders, including the private sector, to make our country’s human settlements, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as a way towards improving the quality of life of our people.
“The sector is assured that my Government will facilitate investments in real estate development as a critical enabler to ensure that our communities enjoy the security, dignity and comfort that comes with affordable home ownership,’’ the President said in his address to guests at the launch ceremony.
Fontaine Ridge housing project has 858 housing units. Of those, 267 units have been completed and 150 are now occupied.
President Mnangagwa said the Fontaine Ridge project and other similar projects that the bank is undertaking across the country in areas like Zvishavane, Hwange and Bulawayo, will close the national housing gap.
“Under my administration, ownership as well as access to modern and affordable housing remain key priority areas in our national development matrix and quest to improve the standard of living of our people. My Government is, thus, determined to create an enabling environment to give impetus to the accelerated development of housing, water, sanitation, modern road networks and other social amenities across the country.”
The President said other realtors should partner with responsible ministries, departments and agencies of Government, taking advantage of the various opportunities that are being availed in the Second Republic’s quest to roll out affordable and quality housing solutions for the citizenry.
“Leveraging on innovations and contemporary solutions, I further challenge the public and private sector to scale up collaborations towards establishing vibrant, renewed and integrated systems that facilitate the speedy implementation of housing development projects.
“The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities has a target to deliver on the housing sector targets set in the National Development Strategy, the achievement of which will be realised through partnerships.”
In February, President Mnangagwa commissioned the Aspindale Housing Project in the capital, which typifies progress that can be made in public-private partnerships.
“The success of this Fontaine Ridge Housing Project and other housing schemes across our towns and cities attests to the bank’s vast experience as well as efficacy of multi-stakeholder collaboration.
“I challenge FBC Building Society and the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities to leverage such a track record to expand their service and product portfolios through conceptualising and developing targeted-customised housing solutions,” he said.
“In doing so, housing developments, particularly for Zimbabweans in the diaspora, farmers, civil servants, small-scale and medium enterprises as well artisanal miners, among other prospective clients, must be expanded.”
The President added that in the construction of houses, players in the real estate sector must always adhere to principles of good governance, transparency and accountability to enhance credibility of the sector and increased participation of home seekers.
“Under the philosophy, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo’, we all have the obligation to play a part in building our great motherland, Zimbabwe. Riding on the opportunities created by the Second Republic, our people must occupy all socio economic sectors for the common good of our country.
“The built environment is a product, creation and construct of our own purpose and interaction. It is an expression of our rich heritage, value consensus, collective aspirations as well as our advancement. Hence, individually and collectively, we must continue taking up the responsibility to clean and beautify our homes, work and recreational spaces.”
The President also challenged land developers to integrate climate change adaptation and resilience in present and future construction works, and embrace the National Beautification Programme.
“Creativity in the sector must contribute to the quality and ambiance of our surroundings as well as that of our country as a whole.
“Over and above this, the re-alignment of service provision standards such as the servicing of land before any housing development, must continue to be prioritised. Laws and statutes governing rural and urban spatial planning as well as development control must be upheld all the time.”
Yesterday’s event was attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu PF Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF Chairman and Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Housing and Social Amenities Daniel Garwe, senior Government officials and Zanu PF supporters.
According to the latest figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, 83 percent of Zimbabweans have access to modern houses, with 66 percent accessing electricity, while 87 percent have access to ICTs