Conrad Mwanawashe Property Reporter
Harare City Council has signed deals with leading financial institutions that will lead to the rolling out of major construction works covering housing, road, terminuses and industrial buildings under its ambitious urban renewal programme. The plan also involves construction of vending markets as council battles to contain illegal selling activities in the city. Already council has signed deals with, CBZ Holdings for the construction of a model multiple – floor market that will house traders of various goods. Council has also signed another multi-million dollar deal with CBZ Bank to replace old flats, in Highfield, Tafara with new latest apartments, among other housing developments.
“We have open spaces where they are going to put the first blocks of flats and progressively we empty people into the new flats and build additional flats,” Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube said. “We are going to do the same in Tafara and we are going to have other housing developments as well.”
In terms of residential developments, council is working more with partners rather than the city doing everything. “The city has to facilitate development. We have entered into partnerships with financial institutions. We are going to be working with FBC developing houses in Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa along Bulawayo Road,” said Mrs Ncube. They are going to do the servicing and build houses and also sell serviced stands so that those who cannot afford houses can buy stands. What we want to move away from is where people get unserviced land as the cooperatives were doing.”
Harare has also entered into an agreement with Homelink to put up flats as council puts more emphasis on high rise buildings to maximise on space and the flat sites are in serviced areas already. “We have just recently planned for additional flat sites along Mutare Road just opposite the NocZim depot. For St Martins, we are now working with the National Building Society who are going to fund the servicing and give mortgage bonds,” according to Mrs Ncube.
Apart from the housing developments, council, in partnership with property owners in Rezende Street and Robert Mugabe Avenue, has earmarked some buildings to be developed for flea markets.
“Currently, the planners are working with the property owners to make sure that we can create spaces there. So we will not need to have any flea markets traders on the streets they should all be housed within the spaces provided,” said Mrs Ncube.
Also, the city architect has almost completed plans for the renovations of the parkade on Samora Machel Avenue to make space for SMEs. As part of the urban renewal, council is also embarking on construction of termini and vending markets around the city. “We have designated vending areas in the CBD, at 4th Street terminus, Copacabana, Chinhoyi Street market and the Robson Manyika Avenue and Innez Terrace market.
“We are establishing a new vending market at the corner of Robert Mugabe Street and Leopold Takawira Avenue. It’s a small one just to cater for a few people. “Also, we are looking at accommodating a lot of the vendors in Rezende Street south as we are going towards Charter Road,” she added.
Council is also planning to construct a sewer treatment plant at Lyndhurst Farm which is between Sunway City and Epworth to service Mabvuku, Sunway City, Caledonia and other new developments around that area.