Harare (New Ziana) – The government has started work on the construction of blocks of flats for civil servants in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP), Mashonaland East province, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The units are being built under the government’s Rural and Social Amenities Programme in rural districts to cater for civil servants domiciled in the country’s eight rural provinces as part of a pilot project towards the construction of 400 four-storey blocks of flats throughout the country.
The project is part of efforts by the National Housing and Social Amenities Ministry to fulfill the country’s National Human Settlement target to build 220 000 units by 2025 as envisaged under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) blueprint which began in 2021.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa in her press briefing after the latest Cabinet meeting, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe had told Cabinet that 136 850 stands have so far been fully serviced.
“The servicing of 43 605 stands is work in progress. The number of completed houses is 49 150 while 42 706 houses are under construction,” said Garwe.
“A total of 3 902 301 jobs were created in the construction sector through servicing of stands, manufacturing of materials, retail and hardware sales since the inception of NDS1. The housing sector’s demand for various materials stimulated production of cement, hardware, bricks among a host of other construction commodities.”
He said the issuance of title deeds to Epworth residents helped unlock value for beneficiaries through financial inclusion and will continue to be issued to different settlements across the country.
Housing bonds which are a source of sustainable and affordable alternative method of raising funding for housing that guarantee consistent and long term development initiatives will be floated, Garwe said.
“Between 2020 and 2021 commercial banks namely CBZ, ZB Bank, FBC, and BancABC accessed a total of US$65 million through lines of credit from Shelter-Afrique,” he said.
“These banks have submitted fresh applications as repeat clients for accessing funding for social housing while National Building Society (NBS); Fidelity Assurance Company; and three other local property developers have also submitted applications for same funding. These provide opportunities for investors, thus creating stable, predictable and attractive investments returns.”