Government sets sights on urban renewal

by | Apr 8, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

A new housing construction concept that was approved by Cabinet yesterday is the perfect model to drive forward the vision for Smart Cities in urban centres.

Cabinet approved the locally invented housing construction technology, which is already in use on a pilot project on the Dzivarasekwa flats project.
The technology involves the use of either or a combination of brick and mortar, or concrete.

These predesigned materials are expected to expedite housing construction, reducing housing delivery timeframes by more than half.
The technology that is a brainchild of the Harare Institute of Technology, is expected to benefit local entrepreneurs through technology transfer and employment creation.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa announced a post-cabinet briefing to the media in Harare yesterday.

“The alternative technology will expedite works and save costs by up to half, with up to a thousand units being constructed in 15 months. This should enable the government to deliver 200 000 housing units by 2023,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.

Construction materials will be procured locally, with the Harare Institute of Technology manufacturing the formers for the walling blocks.

Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the new technology will benefit the nation immensely with technology transfer in the immediate to long term basis through technology transfer for the country’s entrepreneurs and skills development among the youths at training institutions,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

This concept answers to the government’s vision of environmentally sustainable housing structures, as social amenities such as water and sewer reticulation, and electricity will all run on renewable energy.

The housing designs, which will involve two and three bedroomed flats, are expected to be part of the envisaged urban renewal and settlement identification programme that is expected to come in as a panacea to urban sprawl and save space for future developments and other socio-economic activities.

“Construction works on the two former messengers camps in Highfield, Harare and Senga in Gweru will soon commence, followed by a similar regeneration programme across the country,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Zimbabwe faces a challenge of inadequate urban housing with a backlog estimated at 1.3 million units in major urban centres with such big cities as Harare and Bulawayo fast running out of land for new residential developments.

It is hoped that, this housing concept, coupled with deliberate decentralisation of government services through devolution, will contribute, to a greater extent, towards decongesting major urban centres by arresting rural to urban migration by the country’s youths.