More than 2 600 housing co-operatives have been registered countrywide, with more than 1 200 being allocated housing stands, a deputy minister has said.
Zimbabwe has a national housing backlog of 1,25million and the winning Zanu-PF manifesto identifies housing provision as one of the key goals of the people.
Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Deputy Minister Cde Noveti Muponora said this at a ground breaking ceremony for the Staff Salary Service Bureau (SSB) housing co-operative at Caledonia Farm in Harare over the weekend.
At least 23 houses on stands measuring 300 square metres were constructed by the Staff SSB Housing Co-operative at a cost of US$15 300 per unit for civil servants through the low-income earners housing scheme.
“Since the emergence of the co-operative movement, I am proud to highlight that the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development has registered more than 2 600 housing co-operatives nationwide,” he said.
“While these registered co-operatives are at different stages of development, more than 1 200 have already been allocated residential stands, resulting in over 15 000 housing units having been completed. Another 10 000 units are at various stages of construction.”
Cde Muponora commended Staff SSB Housing Co-operative’s progress and said since the turn of the century, housing co-operatives had almost taken over the important role of alleviating housing problems in urban set-ups.
“It is more so pleasing ladies and gentleman, considering that for quite some time now, both central government and local authorities have fallen short on the provision of affordable houses for low-income earners and what you have done is indeed commendable,” he said.
Cde Muponora castigated co-operative members who stifle and frustrate development by stealing savings.
“To those who are bent on causing confusion with the mischievous intention to hoodwink co-operatives of their hard-earned cash, please be warned that as a ministry, we are not going to fold our hands and watch you shamelessly run amok stealing other people’s money because the long arm of the law will catch up with you sooner rather than later,” he said.
Staff SSB’s Housing Co-operative chairman Mr Tonderai Mandiziba said the co-operative was targeting to construct 120 housing units though they were facing a lot of financial challenges.
“Each unit costs US$15 300 and our members contribute an average of US$34 500 per month which implies that we cannot construct more than two houses per month,” he said.
Mr Mandiziva said the units had three rooms, a separate toilet and bathroom with ablution facilities and electrical fittings.