‘No compromise on service delivery’
Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
COLLABORATION between Government, the private sector and local authorities should be scaled up for the development of modern, densified housing projects that adequately serve and cater for all people in the spirit of leaving no place and no one behind, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Towards providing modern houses with requisite ancillary services, President Mnangagwa introduced the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy which, among other goals, seeks to construct new houses and also regenerate derelict housing units, towards creating an upper-middle-class society by 2030.
To that end, the private sector is a vital cog and its participation in the construction of serviced housing units is a prerequisite.
With the country’s economy growing, there has been a boom in construction by the private sector which is mandated to provide sustainable, modern and affordable human settlements, but local authorities have often been found wanting as they parcel out unserviced land to desperate home seekers.
Speaking during a ground-breaking ceremony for the US$100 million Millennium Park development in Harare’s Borrowdale West suburb being undertaken by WestProp Holdings, President Mnangagwa challenged local authorities to also come to the party.
“Going forward, the relevant Government departments, private players in the housing development sector, along with local authorities, must scale up collaboration and not operate in silos.
“Collectively, you all have a duty to ensure the holistic and complementary development of our cities without compromising on service delivery,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government will continue to facilitate the participation of private sector players in the provision of decent housing and work spaces.
“I call upon housing and property developers to equally pursue an inclusive approach that covers all strata of our society. Private developers are urged not to neglect those of limited means and capabilities. No one and no place must be left behind,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the world is dynamic and trends are constantly changing and Zimbabwe must move with the times.
“Riding on ICT-enabled solutions and approaches, it is my expectation that the private sector and Government agencies also take advantage of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, advanced materials, 3D printing and biotechnologies, among other aspects to promote efficiencies and modernise all our sectors, including the housing development and construction industries. These are pertinent, particularly in the development of sustainable smart cities,” he said.
The President added that cross-cutting issues such as adherence to the green building practices, which include saving of resources, energy, water and reducing pollution, are a must.
“As we build the Zimbabwe we want, let us remain cognisant that our land is finite and we must use it prudently, conscious that our population will expand, while our land area is constant.”
President Mnangagwa applauded private sector players such as WestProp Holdings for their contribution towards achieving the National Vision.
“Developments in the sector are in tandem with our aspirations and the society we are desirous to see as we edge towards Vision 2030.
“The housing development designs, spaces and quality of infrastructure we have begun to see across the country, are indeed refreshing and futuristic,” he said.
The President also challenged the construction sector to buy local and do more towards supporting the development of quality construction related goods and products.
“The growth of the sector, characterised by increased growth of the housing stock, usage of cement and supporting industries must equally translate to benefits to our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises,” he said.
President Mnangagwa called on local authorities to complement developments initiated by private players by appropriately planning for the growth in population density due to developments of this nature.
“Hence, we must plan for the long term to avoid knee-jerk reactions as a result of the increased demand for services as a consequence of such good initiatives.
“The water, sewer and transport networks as well as other ancillary services must complement these developments while appropriate infrastructure synergies must be created to guarantee seamless growth which does not clog existing neighbourhoods,” he said.