By Akanimo Sampson
The Zimbabwean cabinet has approved a new building technology being tried out in a major Dzivarasekwa complex of 1 400 flats that Treasury has already allocated $1billion.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, says the cabinet was briefed on the use of new technology in housing construction as part of the strategy to speed up home building as it allows costs to be cut, at times by as much as half.
“Cabinet was informed that the technology, which is already in use in the Dzivarasekwa flats project, involves two options, namely: brick and mortar, and concrete.
‘’The housing designs will involve two and three-bed-roomed flats, with social amenities such as water and sewer reticulation and electricity from renewable energy.
‘’The designs fit well into the Smart City concept. The alternative technology will expedite works and save costs by up to half, with up to a thousand units being constructed in 15 months”, she said.
According to her, this should enable the government to deliver 200 000 housing units by 2023. Construction materials will be produced locally, with the Harare Institute of Technology manufacturing the formers for the walling blocks.
The minister said that the new technology will benefit the nation immediately through technology transfer for the country’s entrepreneurs and skills development among the youths at training institutions.
“Some of the areas that will instantly benefit are former Messengers’ Camps in Highfield, Harare, and Senga in Gweru to be followed by a similar regeneration programme across the country,” she added.
“This year 88 blocks of flats are being built in Harare’s Dzivarasekwa, each block with 16 flats to give a total of 1 408 flats. The government is building half and the private sector the other half. Treasury has provided funds in excess of $1billion in order for construction to commence”, the minister said.