Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
The GOVERNMENT has begun preparatory work to build a block of flats that will have 164 units in Victoria Falls as the Second Republic continues to deliver on its promise.
The apartment block is part of a $25 million sovereign credit facility secured from pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique for the construction of 3,000 homes across the country.
At least 300 units will be developed in each of the 10 provinces under the fund.
In Matabeleland North, housing will be in Victoria Falls and Lupane, the provincial capital where the government is building houses for civil servants, National Housing and Social Services Minister Daniel Garwe said recently.
A news crew observed that more land had been cleared at the site east of the Hlalani Kuhle section of Mkhosana where General Vice President (Retired) Constantino Chiwenga officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony three months ago.
Mounds of river sand and mine sand as well as piles of bricks were delivered to the site.
While there were no workers on site yesterday morning, it would appear that building materials were delivered recently.
President Mnangagwa launched Zimbabwe’s National Human Settlements Policy in September last year and the National Housing Ministry is implementing the policy in partnership with the private sector in line with Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The provision of affordable and quality settlements in urban and rural areas is one of the main objectives of the government to improve access to affordable and quality housing and social amenities as part of the economic plan.
The walk-up apartments in Victoria Falls will be a model that will be replicated across the country, the government has said.
The apartments will be built in phases and the first stage will consist of three blocks with three floors each.
New properties will have security of tenure and owners will obtain title deeds.
In an interview yesterday, Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister for Matabeleland North, Richard Moyo, said the Second Republic was following its chops and delivering on its promises.
“As a province, we are delighted that something has started to happen on the ground, showing that what we have been promised is happening. Providing housing for all is one of the main focus areas of the government and for our province it is very important,” said Minister Moyo.
He said the ongoing work at the site marks the effective start of the project.
Minister Moyo implored the National Ministry of Housing to speed up the process of decentralizing its offices to the provinces. The National Ministry of Housing is relatively new and had not established provincial and district offices as is the case with other government ministries and departments.
Zimbabwe is a shareholder in Shelter Afrique, a pan-African banking institution that exclusively supports the development of affordable housing and the growth of the real estate sector in Africa.
The organization held its 41st symposium here three months ago.
The government said the construction would take place alongside other initiatives being implemented. Zimbabwe has a national housing backlog of around 1.5 million units and aims to deliver 1.2 units by 2030 and part of the vision is to change the face of Zimbabwe by building modern homes that are sustainable and environmentally friendly thanks to NDS1.
Victoria Falls has an order book of approximately 15,000 units. Two other housing projects are underway in the city where apartment blocks of 94 units and another of 26 units are being built.
The government is also planning to develop Masue City which will also have more housing projects in Victoria Falls and the authorities believe this will eliminate housing problems in the town entirely. [email protected]