Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Government is set to partner Chinese investors to construct $100 million worth of houses made from pre-fabricated materials as it seeks to meet its Zim-Asset target of building more than 300 000 housing units in the next five years, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, has said.
Speaking during a tour of a model house which will be used as Urban Development Corporation (UDICORP) offices in Stoneridge, Minister Kasukuwere said the Chinese technology was now being localised with the Chinese firm working in Dzivaresekwa.
“We are moving into this kind of housing which has been approved by the Standard Association of Zimbabwe and also accepted by our ministry.
“It is good for a family — three bedrooms. The cost is about $30 000 and as we go forward, we believe that their prices has to come down and be able to provide more houses.
The structure can be put up in (six days) and if we roll out this programme our thinking as Government is that we should be able to accommodate a serious number of our people and be able to provide descent shelter,” he said.
He said the pre-fabricated house comes with its own sewer system which is environmentally acceptable and uses solar.
Minister Kasukuwere said his ministry was negotiating with Chinese firms and the first phase of the housing scheme will see $100 million worth of houses being constructed.
“We are happy that the Chinese have already set up shop in Zimbabwe and most of the material is being manufactured locally. We believe this is a technology transfer opportunity for our young people to learn and we believe going forward it will spread as people will be able to do this quite easily in the various sectors.
“On durability maybe a 100-200 years. They are saying you can live in this house for 250 years so I do not know who can live for 250 years,” he said.
Minister Kasukuwere said Udcorp has been tasked to regularise Stoneridge to ensure that the area has accessible roads and other amenities.
Harare South legislator Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe said Stoneridge residents have been living in the area without basic services.
“We are happy as this area’s leadership that Udicorp will take over development.
“We have asked Government to make sure that such houses are built in this area,” he said.
Government has since launched the National Housing Delivery Programme under Zim-Asset that will see more than 300 000 housing units being built throughout the country in the five years up to 2018. Under Zim-Asset provisions, Harare province is expected to deliver 105 935 houses by 2018, Midlands (56 760), Matabeleland North (28 772), Mashonaland West (23 819), Manicaland (21 830), Masvingo (20 269), Mashonaland Central (16 607), Bulawayo (15 100), Matabeleland South (12 500) and 11 776 in Mashonaland East.