IDBZ  to expedite over $300m construction projects

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PHILLIMON MHLANGA
The state-owned Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has said it would ensure expeditious construction of housing projects worth $331.3m to help reduce the housing backlog across the country.

The bank is undertaking close to 10 projects in the country’s strategic towns. The projects include the Kariba Housing Project worth about $16.8m, Bulawayo student accommodation complex ($14.2m), Hwange’s Empumalanga West Housing Project ($6.9m), Chinhoyi University of Technology ($5.4m), Women’s University in Africa and Sumben Housing Project ($16m), other universities ($34m), and emergency road development works in eight provinces ($233m).

IDBZ chief executive officer, Thomas Zondo Sakala, said the Kariba project is now 93% complete, while the Hwange and Masvingo projects are 80% complete.

“Notable progress has been made in the implementation of the Kariba Housing Project, which was initially worth $14.8m but has now been expanded to include the upgrade of the water supply system, thus bringing  the total project cost to $16.8m,” Sakala said. “Project progress is at 93% and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.”
Progress on the Hwange project is currently at 80% and should be completed by the third  quarter of 2019. Similarly, the Makonde and Nemanwa (in Masvingo) housing stands development projects are at 80% and 85% completion respectively.

“The bank intensified efforts in the planning processes of the Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe student accommodation project,” Sakala noted. “The project planning activities are now at advanced stages and subject to approval by the bank’s board in the second quarter of 2019.

“Other projects which are in the planning phase are Chinhoyi University’s learning facilities worth $5.4m, Zimbabwe School of Mines students accommodation worth $5m, Women’s University in Africa student accommodation and Sumben Housing project ($16m),” he added.

In its financial results for the year to December 31,2019, IDBZ’s revenue grew 55% to $13.3m from $8.6m in the previous year, largely driven by strong performance in net interest income.
The bank’s shareholder, which is the government, injected about $153m into the bank, a move which boosted its income-generating capacity.

The bank recorded fair value losses on investment property amounting to about $1m. Sakala said this was due to depressed activity in the property sector and low occupational levels. This led to the low rates of
return.
The bank recorded a profit of $0.8m during the reviewed period compared to a restated loss of $0.6m recorded in 2017. The restatement was as a result of value-added taxes amounting to $1.2m which was not recovered and remitted to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority on time.
Total assets grew 213% to $591m during the period under review, from $189m in the prior year. Sakala said the growth was on the back of additional capital of $153m from the government during the period under review.