HomeLocal NewsCouncil moots slum demolition

Council moots slum demolition

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Harare City Council is planning to engage residents staying in some of the city’s old slums with a view to demolishing their properties and converting them into modern storeyed buildings to accommodate more people, housing director James Chiyangwa has said.

The project is targeted at old residential structures in Mbare, Tafara, Mabvuku and Highfield.
But Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has vowed that as long as he remained mayor, he would not allow people to be left homeless.

“As long as I am the mayor, I will not be party to any move that would result in any of our vulnerable and disadvantaged stakeholders being rendered homeless,” Masunda said.

However, speaking during a tour of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded housing project in Dzivarasekwa, Chiyangwa said they would demolish the structures and join the stands together once the property owners agreed to the scheme.

“UN Habitat says that by 2025, 50% of the people in developing countries will be in urban areas and you can see everyone coming to Harare,” Chiyangwa said.

“We don’t want slums, but now that we have them, what do we do?

“There is no money and we can’t continue building when we have no money for new roads, electricity and water, among other things. In that case you look at what is existing with the objective to maximise on what is existing, for example, in Mbare. The idea is to increase density.

“The idea is we join two 300-square-metre stands to come up with a 600-square-metre stand and we build upwards.

“From that we can build two or three more floors upwards and house six or more families on stands that were used to house two families.”

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