Farai Dauramanzi Herald Correspondent
Government has announced the commencement of the Enhanced Cabinet Committee (ECEPDM) Phase 2 interventions which will be focused on the accelerated implementation of measures to address the irregularities and dysfunctionalities that were identified during the first phase, to achieve Government’s objective of delivering 1,5 million low to medium-income housing units by 2030.
Since February, Government has been undertaking measures to address irregular and dysfunctional settlements, the poor state of the country’s road infrastructure, and to streamline the operations of housing cooperatives.
Speaking during yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said that Phase 1 of the ECEPDM committee identified and quantified a total of 31 257 households that are residing in dysfunctional and irregular settlements across the country.
It (Phase 1) produced a National Wetlands Map and Policy for Zimbabwe. The Committee established the level of compliance of all registered housing co-operatives and ascertained the legal status of some groups of people who refer to themselves as co-operatives when they are not registered.
“Phase 2 will focus on accelerated implementation of measures to address the irregularities and dysfunctionalities that were identified during the first phase, so as to achieve Governments objective of delivering 1,5 million low to medium-income housing units over the period 2018 to 2030,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The Minister explained that Phase 2 will also aim to deepen the strands of work carried out under Phase 1, with emphasis on execution and attaining rapid results.
“Households irregularly settled on wetlands and areas reserved for servitudes and social amenities, for whom relocation is inevitable, will be prioritised. It will be ensured that servitudes and social amenities such as roads, sewer, water, electricity, clinics, schools, shops, sporting facilities and SMEs market stalls are put up in their proper areas, while wetlands are properly conserved,” explained Minister Mutsvangwa.
More specifically, Phase 2 shall be characterised by works aimed at addressing the accommodation needs of families or households settled on flood-prone areas, legacy issues from the First Republic, that is, attending to the infrastructure deficits in Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle settlements, regularisation of settlements on farms with disputed ownership as well as mapping of settlements against approved layout plans in order to issue title deeds to deserving beneficiaries.
The second phase of the programme will also focus on development and implementation of strategies on regularisation and rebuilding decent workspaces and markets for SMEs; and implementation of strategies to ensure that foreign nationals do not operate in sectors of the economy reserved for locals, such as transport, retail and wholesale trade, barber shops, hairdressing and beauty saloons.
“Cabinet is pleased to advise that the aerial mapping of Caledonia settlement has already been completed by the Zimbabwe National Geo-spatial and Space Science Agency (ZINGSA).
“The mapping exercise revealed that at least 30 percent of superstructures in the area fall outside the approved layout plan, with 4 703 households out of a total 33 090 having settled on land reserved for servitudes and social amenities. The households will be accorded priority in the relocation exercise in order to pave way for putting up of the servitudes and social amenities,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The Minister also revealed that the Zimbabwe National Geo-spatial Agency (ZINGSA) is now proceeding to carry out the mapping of Harare South settlements.
“It should be noted that all urban settlements will be mapped against approved layout plans in order to provide sound basis for regularisation and enable the issuance of title deeds to deserving beneficiaries,” revealed Minister Mutsvangwa.