Help govt reduce housing backlog: Moyo

ZIMBABWE Building Contractors’ Association (ZBCA) members have been challenged to work with government, local authorities and financial institutions to reduce the country’s housing back log standing at 1,5 million.

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

Officiating at the ZBCA annual conference on Thursday in Victoria Falls, Local Government minister July Moyo said there was a sharp increase in demand for urban housing.

“The provision of housing for low income earners remains a critical service that government needs to provide to its citizens,” he said.

“Given the backlog of national housing, estimated at 1,5 million units due to rising demand in urban and resettlement areas, it is important that members of your association work closely with government, local authorities and financial houses to ensure that property designated as land for housing is developed and serviced so that people are allocated housing stands in an orderly manner. We need, as a nation, to manage the delivery of housing because of its status as a basic need.”

Due to government’s failure to meet the demand for urban housing, illegal settlements have been sprouting in urban areas across the country.

Moyo said the Construction Contractors Council Bill, whose crafting began in 2000, was set to be tabled before Parliament before end of the year. There was no political will by the previous government under former President Robert Mugabe to enact the Bill, even though the construction industry had given input.

“It is critical to note that the passage of this Bill will level the playing field in the construction industry and regulate the activities of both foreign and local players in order to achieve high quality of work for the benefit of clients. We have also received feedback from contractors of the unfair competition that you receive from foreign contractors and local unregistered contractors, simply because the environment is not regulated. My ministry will work to ensure that we level the field by enacting this law.”

The conference ended on Friday and was running under the theme, Engaging Local Contractors for Strategic Infrastructure Development in Zimbabwe.

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