THE country’s target of building one million flats and houses by 2025 is well on course and the private sector is keen to play a part in this regard, the mid-term review of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) has shown.
NDS 1 is the first five-year National Development Plan towards Vision 2030, of an empowered upper middle-income economy envisioned by President Mnangagwa, which leaves no one and no place behind.
The NDS1 mid-term review for January 2021-June 2023 showed that 344 068 flats and houses were completed or stands fully serviced by December 2022, giving hope for achieving the one million target by 2025.
Despite pushing for the housing target, Government is not compromising on some key elements like provision of safe drinking water with a lot of progress having been recorded on this front.
By the end of December last year, 153 308 flats and houses had been built and 190 760 stands fully serviced, giving a total delivery of 344 068 across all provinces, reads the review.
“During the second half of NDS 1 implementation, efforts by central Government, local authorities, businesses and individual home builders will see a total 1 million flats, houses and serviced stands delivered by 2025, in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of achieving a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by 2030.
“Government interventions saw a commendable increase in the percentage of households accessing basic water and sanitation services during the first half of NDS 1.
“In terms of access to water and sanitation services, 96 percent of the urban population and 64 percent of rural population had access to basic water services during the first half of NDS 1, while 51,1 percent of the urban population and 54 percent of the rural population had access to basic sanitation services.”
“Government interventions in support of households’ access to basic water and sanitation services during the first half of NDS 1 included the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme launched by His Excellency E.D. Mnangagwa, among other development initiatives.
“These saw more than 1 000 boreholes having been drilled across the country during the first half of NDS 1.”
Also, private players say the economy is undergoing a silent construction boom on the back of increased business activity occasioned by the Second Republic’s emphasis and deliberate strategies to grow the economy and are keen to play their part.
The growth, said the players, is however not getting deserved attention as focus remains trained on project completion while spin-offs go unnoticed.
Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association senior vice president Dr Tinashe Manzungu said they are on board to achieve Government’s targets.
He said several capital intensive projects are taking shape and construction companies are lurching onto the infrastructure development activity with different start-ups and operations taking advantage.
“The target is achievable. It has since been revised upwards, us in the private sector are on-board to meet the targets set out by Government because of the business friendly policies in place that allow for investment.
“The housing target is achievable and in fact it will be surpassed because Government has guaranteed an environment that is conducive for investment,” said Dr Manzungu.
“As private contractors we are geared up to be in public private partnerships with our local authorities, we shall not only wait for tenders.
“You see the proposed budget of $320 billion will hardly meet the target without us private contractors playing a part and we are ready to put in our equity such as equipment and expertise whilst financial institutions put in the running costs and councils or ministries put in the land.
“This is what we are going to do in assisting our Government to reach the one million housing mark which is achievable”.
Since his inauguration in 2017, President Mnangagwa has emphasised the need to grow the economy and has along the way implemented practical steps anchored on the “Zimbabwe is open for business” strategy meant to attract Foreign Direct Investment and drive the economy towards upper middle income status by 2030.