24 April 2018

Zimbabwe: Harare Reviews Housing Policy

Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni says the City of Harare had only received $72 million out of the $144 million for the Harare Water and Sanitation Rehabilitation facility from China Eximbank. "The city has drawn down $72 million and so far not the full amount. The city awaits disbursement of the remaining amount to enable the contractor to proceed with works at Warren Control, Alexandra Park and Letombo pump stations well as completion of works at Firle and Crowborough Sewage Works," said Clr Manyenyeni.

The City of Harare has already started repaying its $144 million debt to China-Exim Bank, although the bank is still to release the outstanding amount of $72 million.

The $144 million loan facility was obtained for the rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Water Works and sewer works. The loan was advanced at an interest rate of three percent per annum and over a nine-year tenure.

Morton Jaffray rehabilitation works will cost a total of $55 million upon completion, with the remainder of the $144 million loan from China Exim Bank being used on IT equipment, construction and other pump stations.

Meanwhile Councillor Manyenyeni said the city has not done well in the housing sector as it faces a myriad of challenges including illegal settlements.

In a State of the City Address delivered last week, Clr Manyenyeni said land invasions and illegal settlements are causing headaches for the city fathers.

He, however, said council had managed to review the housing policy and introduced housing pay schemes as a housing delivery model that replaced the housing cooperatives model.

He said council had allocated 12 905 partially serviced and unserviced residential stands to people on the Housing waiting list.

Clr Manyenyeni said council had regularised 64 139 unserviced residential stands but warned that future regularisation should not be the incentive to break rules.

Harare City had also processed and transferred 4 101 titles boosting revenue base by over $719 000 through processing fees.

"Five hundred and seventy two consents were processed, increasing our revenue base by approximately $156 712 as processing fees while 2 484 cessions were conducted since 2013 raising over $400 645,161."

Clr Manyenyeni said council had surveyed over 7 000 stands including CABS Budiriro Project with over 3 000 stands and in Mabvuku/Tafara opposite Lafarge Cement with 1 400 stands.

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