MASVINGO — The housing backlog in one of the country’s oldest urban settlements continues to rise with the figure reaching the 15 000 mark as council struggles to provide housing to its 100 000 residents.
Speaking during a tour of Runyararo South-West housing project run by retired Colonel Kudzai Mbudzi on Tuesday Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze said council was set to identify more land to develop for housing to ease the city’s ballooning backlog.
“Unofficial figures reveal that we have a backlog of 15 000 although officially the figure is slightly around 2 000. We have to identify more land for housing so that we ease the backlog,” Fidze said.
The figure has sharply risen due to rural-urban migration in a drought-prone province of 1,4 million people where unemployed youths seek greener pastures in the provincial capital.
Fidze said private housing developers helped in easing the housing crisis.
“Such projects by other developers will alleviate the challenges we face in providing housing, especially with the coming in of universities and colleges where demand increases. Having such a project and other private developers will no doubt help us arrest the figures. We will be a step ahead,” Fidze said.
Fidze said council was not resting on its laurels, but also providing affordable housing on its own.
“Council is also undertaking its projects like the current Hillside low cost housing project which has 400 stands,” he said.
Mbudzi said he had responded to the national clarion call to avail affordable housing, mostly to civil servants.
Zimbabwe has a national housing backlog of about 1,25 million.