Housing delivery within the context of NDS1
Housing delivery is one of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) pillars. The key drive, therefore, is to address the inadequacies pertaining to infrastructure, and provide citizens with access to affordable and quality settlements.
The trajectory towards the attainment of Vision 2030 revolves around providing human settlements, which meet the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people, while addressing affordability and modernisation aspects.
The housing delivery pillar within the NDS1 is expected to deliver 220 000 housing units by 2025, through collective efforts from stakeholders and all parties involved in human settlements delivery.
This will in turn massively contribute to overall economic growth in line with NDS 1—a five-year economic blueprint that runs from 2021-2025—launched by President Mnangagwa in November 2020.
A successor to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), the NDS 1, is key to the achievement of Vision 2030, and seeks to streamline gender, youth, women and other vulnerable groups, hence, creating equal opportunities for all citizens in an economically stable environment.
The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities is working tirelessly towards reducing numbers on housing waiting lists and improving services in settlements.
Established in 2019, the Ministry’s mandate is to provide modern and affordable human settlements for Zimbabweans. The fulfilment of this mandate is premised on an inclusive approach in which no one will be left behind in the nation’s drive towards a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by 2030.
Since its inception, the Ministry has scored a number of successes spurred on by the economic blueprint, NDS 1. It has embarked on an accelerated housing delivery programme, which is aimed at ensuring access to housing by the greater part of the population.
The Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy
The Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy, officially launched by the President on September 2, 2021 replaces the National Housing Policy of 2012, and addresses several shortcomings inherent in the preceding policy outline.
The human settlements policy is aimed at informing the implementation of relevant facets of Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals, the African
Union Agenda 2063, Vision 2030 and national and international resilience frameworks. It guides all human settlement developments in the country as enshrined in the national Constitution (Amendment No. 20 of 2013).
Densification of settlements, spatial planning requirements and the development of off-site and on-site infrastructure before occupation of land, are among other essentials in the policy. And, these crucial elements ought to be upheld in housing development projects, since they are the cornerstones of the housing delivery sector.
The policy will help create a beneficial environment that will foster a greater leverage for the Ministry and other stakeholders to interact with regional and international bodies eager to invest in human settlements in the country.
Demand for housing
The demand for housing has, indeed, risen to alarming rates, and is currently estimated at 1,5 million housing units. It is, therefore, the Ministry’s clarion call to all players in the human settlements sector to put heads together in finding solutions that address the housing challenge, as well as the attendant social amenities.
Efforts to address the housing challenge
In efforts to address the housing challenge, the Ministry is spearheading implementation of the National Housing Delivery Programme (NHDP), a massive plan aimed at delivering 220 000 housing units by 2025, and over 470 000 in the long term.
The project aims at creating inclusive settlements that meet the needs and aspirations of Zimbabweans, while utilising local available resources. The development agenda is leaving no one behind, given that the Ministry is championing housing programmes for the entire citizenry of Zimbabwe. In a bid to accelerate the provision of housing, the Government has adopted several strategies to ensure access to housing by the majority of citizens.
Regularisation/sanitisation of informal and dysfunctional settlements
As part of mechanisms to address the housing backlog and enhance human settlements delivery, the regularisation/sanitisation of informal and dysfunctional settlements is now gathering momentum across the breadth and length of the country.
Efforts meant to bring sanity in the said settlements are underway targeting the following: Caledonia in Goromonzi, Harare South, Hatcliffe North, Gimboki South in Mutare and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo.
Other areas requiring such initiative will be considered as the programme gathers traction. The Ministry is actively engaging the private sector and banks, through tendering, for feasibility studies, design, funding and construction of infrastructure in the informal settlements.
The process is now at an advanced stage.
Revitalisation of the derelict structures is aimed at making the dwellings more habitable, attractive and modern. In instances where the structures are no longer sound, construction of new apartments shall be done.
Urban regeneration is targeting Mbare residential suburb in Harare, Sakubva in Mutare and Makokoba in Bulawayo. In terms of implementation, Sakubva Urban Regeneration is most advanced, and has since been accorded National Project Status, entailing duty free importation of capital equipment, materials and/or goods, among other attendant concessions.
In these areas, construction of social amenities infrastructure, such as recreational facilities, clinics, among others shall also be prioritised.
Revitalisation programmes for rural areas
The Government has initiated Revitalisation Programmes for Rural Settlements, which are intended to bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas. The Ministry is currently developing proto-type housing designs for use in rural areas, and more designs are being developed to widen selection.
In the quest to foster proper waste management in Zimbabwe’s rural and peri- urban settlements, the Rural Waste Management Programme is being championed, targeting identified schools, clinics and chiefs’ homesteads.
Under the programme, the Ministry is targeting installation of at least 3 000 flushable toilets in rural areas.
The Ministry has also initiated revitalisation programmes for rural settlements which are intended to bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas. Currently, innovative proto-type rural homestead designs are being developed.
The Ministry is working on developing these proto-type rural-house model designs, taking cognisance of the need to create access to public goods and services, while promoting equitable and sustainable transformation.
The key features of the rural-house model include, subsistence farming, craft work, use of local building materials, modern flushable rural waste management technology as well as use of renewable energy. The designs should be resilient.
Alternative building technology
In line with NDS 1 targets, the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities has embarked on an accelerated housing delivery programme premised on the use of alternative building technology to construct high rise buildings.
The alternative building technology will aid in accelerated housing delivery, while ensuring that climate resilient houses are built with maximum utilisation of local building materials. The Ministry is targeting to 220 000 housing units by 2025 through the adoption of these alternative building technologies for key projects in all the country’s 10 provinces.
Government is also facilitating the establishment of smart cities. The smart city concept is pivoted on the idea that cities should be self-contained. Smart cities ensure that individuals live, play and work in the same environment.
The smart city idea, which originated in Los Angeles in the 1970s, provides for improved energy distribution, streamlined trash collection, decreased traffic congestion, and even improved air quality through use of intelligent security.
Another plus for the concept is the promotion of green energy, which dovetails with the Government’s push for renewable and clean energy usage.
Security digital cities that provide among the best security services are the future of communal security, which will see citizens engaging with smart ecosystems in many ways using smartphones, mobile devices, connected cars and homes.
The areas earmarked for this development include Melfort, Chirundu and Figtree. Recently, the Cabinet approved the development of Melfort Smart City in the Goromonzi District of Mashonaland East Province. This development will go a long way in driving economic growth, not only in the area, but also across the country.
Enhanced Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Programme
The Government has embarked on the Enhanced Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Programme to provide relief to distressed households in dysfunctional, illegal and irregular settlements, including those settled on wetlands and flood-prone areas.
The Programme is also targeting at constructing and rehabilitating the country’s road infrastructure following years of non-maintenance and neglect by local authorities, especially those in urban areas.
The construction of four blocks of flats in Dzivarasekwa, Harare, which are being constructed to house relocated households, stands midway to completion.
At the Senga Messengers’ Camp in Gweru, four blocks of flats are currently under construction by a private contractor, and an additional four blocks are being constructed at the site.
Four blocks of flats are also under construction in Marondera, while in Lupane the contractor has since moved to site to commence operations for the construction of residential flats at the Government Offices’ site.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is addressing the concerns of households on planned settlements without adequate basic services. Initial focus in this regard is on 16 Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle settlements identified countrywide for immediate infrastructural development.
To that end, the official handover of the Lupane Local Board Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle site to the contractor was done by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities on May 2, 2022.
Update on the hosting of the Shelter Afrique Conference
The 41st Shelter Afrique Annual General Meeting and Symposium will be held at Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, from July 25 to 29, 2022, and the Ministry will be hosting.
The conference, whose theme is “Climate Change and the Built Environment”, will be attended by ministers responsible for housing development from 45
African Member States. There will be a ground-breaking ceremony and laying of a foundation stone on the official opening day.
This will mark the official launch of 3 000 housing units to be funded by Shelter Afrique in Zimbabwe. The organisation has also committed to the establishment of a building technology plant in Harare in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe.
· Sikhanyisiwe Ncube is the deputy director for Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.
· Coordinated and edited by Elliot Ziwira, Senior Writer, The Herald.