LEADING mortgage lender, Cabs, says its low-income housing project in Bulawayo is expected to kick off in the second half of the year.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Cabs managing director, Simon Hammond told NewsDay in emailed responses that they acquired land in Bulawayo’s suburbs — Nkulumane and Pumula South — for the purposes of developing affordable housing units as part of their housing delivery thrust.
“Cabs plans to sell serviced stands in Bulawayo [and] under this scheme, qualifying buyers will have access to mortgage finance from Cabs. We are excited because this model will give house owners an option to build housing units of their own choice at their own pace,” he said.
“In the second half of the year, the Nkulumane and Pumula South housing project in Bulawayo is expected to kick off.”
Cabs, a subsidiary of Old Mutual Zimbabwe, is set to build over 2 700 housing units in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane high-density suburb.
The construction of the houses under the project is being done under the Old Mutual Housing Fund aimed at easing accommodation challenges in the country.
The first project under a similar fund was done in Budiriro high-density suburb in Harare, where 2 795 houses were built.
The Budiriro Housing Project saw Old Mutual, through its subsidiary, injecting $15 million into the project.
Hammond said their plans for 2017 centred on improving their customers’ experience irrespective of which delivery channel they would be serving them through.
Such initiatives would be driven more through their digital banking strategy, he said.
Hammond said Cabs had various projects, which would run concurrently during 2017.
“Plans are afoot to expand our point-of-sale footprint to maintain our market leadership. Our digital strategy will see us undertaking enhancements and adding new features to our mobile banking platform,” he said.
“In order to improve customer experience, and enhance transaction processing capabilities, our core banking system will be upgraded during the course of 2017.”
Hammond said the bank would continue offering value chain-based financial packages comprising credit products, insurance, capacity building and market linkage components to small scale enterprises.
He believed that agriculture is one area where they have a good footing and they have prepared themselves to do more in sugar cane, horticulture, grains, poultry and dairy sub-sectors.
Despite the challenges that the economy is facing, Hammond said Cabs was confident that the economy would recover as there were a lot opportunities for growth in the market place.
“Being the country’s largest building society, Cabs will continue to pursue cautious lending strategies that focus on our diverse segments. In addition to mortgages, we will continue to cater for consumer segment loans, SMEs [small-and-medium enterprises], and corporates,” he said.