13 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Govt in Drive to Urbanise Growth Points

Government is looking at creating urban settings around growth points and service centres in the communal areas as part of efforts to accelerate the country's urbanisation.

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said negotiations with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing - the custodians of the communal lands - were underway to parcel out some land for urban development.

"This is a matter we are discussing with them (Ministry of Local Government) with respect to provision of land around rural service centres and growth points, which are in communal areas," said Minister Chinamasa.

"We are looking at communal land that is going to be transformed from communal to urban settings."

Zimbabwe has experienced rapid rural to urban migration over the past few years but this has led to several challenges including emergence of urban slim dwellings, overcrowded settlements, poor environmental health and hygienic standards, public health risks and rising crime levels. The migration has also resulted in a high demand for scarce urban land and jobs as well as placing immense pressure on the supporting infrastructure. Further, the cost of urban land and houses is now beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans. Minister Chinamasa said inadequate on-site and off-site infrastructure has been hindering housing development in the country.

"Government will not support any project without acceptable on site and off-site infrastructure."

The minister said the country's housing projects have also been stalled by major factors such as inadequate financing by both the public and the private sector. The cost of credit has also been very high. There have been some bottlenecks in the land delivery process by local authorities.

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