RYAN CHIGOCHE/ TINASHE MAKICHI
Government has invited bids for the supply of smart technology to be used in the construction of houses, a strategy the administration believes would address the national housing deficit, Business Times can report.
The technology, which speeds up home buildings as well as cutting costs, would enable the government , which has been battling a massive national housing backlog, to deliver at least 200 000 housing units by 2023, according to the government’s economic development blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1.
National Housing and Social Amenities minister, Daniel Garwe, told Business Times that there was huge interest from foreign companies, who are vying to provide the smart technology.
“We floated expressions of interest for the provision of smart technologies on housing development as we are working towards bridging the accommodation gap. There has been huge interest from foreign companies,” Garwe said.
The development comes after Cabinet recently approved the use of alternative technologies like the 3D technology in the construction of houses, something that could considerably reduce the time taken to construct a single house or flat.
The 3D printing building technology is a new construction technique started with the invention of 3D printers.
Zimbabwe has a housing backlog of 1.2m.
The push for smart technology in housing comes as Shelter Afrique this week extended the US$25m line of credit to Zimbabwe’s private sector housing programmes.
The facility will finance the construction of 5,000 low-cost houses.
Local lenders -BancABC and National Building Society – will get US$11m and US$4m respectively while the Urban Development Corporation will get US$10m.
Shelter Afrique is a partnership of 44 African governments, the African Development Bank and the Africa Reinsurance Corporation.
It was set up to mobilise funds to build houses.
The institution seeks to build strategic partnerships and offers a host of products and related services to support the efficient delivery of affordable housing and commercial real estate which is mostly private sector driven.
The institution extends lines of credit to the private sector driving housing finance so that together they try to meet the needs of the growing urban population.
Speaking at a joint press conference in the capital this week, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube said: “Government is playing its pivotal role of facilitating housing delivery through private sector participation.
There is room for more applications before the window shuts in this final year for further fundraising activities. The money is there for those who would want to invest in housing development.”
Ncube said financial institutions are fronting the access to lines of credit for housing delivery adding that housing delivery should be predominantly private sector driven, while the government facilitates and only comes up with intervention programmes where necessary.