GOVERNMENT has mobilised $139,24 million to regenerate the country’s oldest urban settlements, with Mbare, Makokoba and Sakubva suburbs set to benefit, a Cabinet minister has said.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Thursday, Local Government minister July Moyo said the projects approved by government this week would be done in three phases.
“The regeneration project of Mbare in the capital is being done in partnership with Ministry of Local Government, Harare City Council and [Urban Development Corporation] Udcorp at a total cost of $109m.
“Phase 1 will see construction of new flats with at least 15 levels in infill spaces at Tsiga, Mbare Flats, along Ardbennie Road, infill space close to council offices and those along Mukuvisi River,” he said.
All in all, the flats will have 30 000 units of at least two bedrooms each.
Moyo said Shawasha Shopping Mall would be constructed, with Mbare bus terminus and the fresh produce market being modernised.
The second phase would see renewal of existing flats.
Moyo said phase three would see dredging of Mukuvisi River into a river housing gardens, parks and restaurants.
“Infrastructure is being funded by Harare City Council at $36m, design and construction of flats will be financed by BancABC, PID and Architecton Design Studio at $73m. Apartments along 7th Street near Rufaro Stadium without toilets will be destroyed and pave way for construction of similar flats as well as at Shawasha open space to create more housing units,” he said. Moyo said occupants of the new flats shall be given title deeds to allow them get loans from banks.
“Similar construction projects are going to take place in Sakubva, Mutare to the tune of $9,24m and Makokoba, Bulawayo at a cost of $21m,” he said.
Mutare City Council would contribute $2,64m, with the balance coming from BancABC, while Bulawayo City Council would contribute $5,5m and BancABC $15,5m.
“So far topographical survey, master plan, architectural and engineering designs for urban regeneration of Mbare, Sakubva and Makokoba suburbs have been completed and construction of phase 1 will begin in January,” infrastructure planner and architect Hilary Mukaratirwa said.
Mukaratirwa also revealed that Cabinet has approved construction of two new “smart cities” in a bid to create an attractive environment for foreign direct investments.
“Around this new Parliament building we will construct a new smart city linked to Norton, Harare, Bindura, and Mazowe at an estimated cost of $10 billion,” he said.
Mukaratirwa said for the new city, government would service the land first, construct road, water and sanitation infrastructure to add value and maximise on returns when selling the stands.
“Currently we are doing feasibility studies for this new city and I think by 2020 we shall be giving you finer details on construction and investors taking part in the new city project.”
Mukaratirwa revealed that the location of the second new city is on 379,5 hectares of Lot 6 of remainder of Drownfield Farm in Zvishavane.
He said the city in Zvishavane in the Midlands province would have modern high-rise commercial buildings and residential apartments, powered mostly by renewable energy such as solar and biogas.