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Govt moots downsizing stands in low-density areas

by Staff reporter
27 Nov 2020 at 07:22hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT is considering cutting the sizes of stands in low-density suburbs to create room for more human settlement saying there was a lot of space which was underutilised.

The move, which is not a policy position, is a proposal to landlords to fully utilise their land and derive value from it.

In an interview yesterday, National Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe said the issue was a suggestion to make landowners see that they were seating on gold.

"There is no land appropriation or acquisition," Garwe said.

"That is far-fetched. We are saying, ‘people, you are seating on gold and you don't realise that because you are holding on to land for prestige'. If you have, let's say five acres, why don't you dispose of four acres either by outright disposal or wait for any investments to come."

He said there were good examples of such a practice in the neighbouring South Africa, where plush houses are seating on small pieces of land.

"For example, we have the plush suburb of Sandton. Most of those houses sit on 500 square metres or less. It is not about a big stand, but the quality of the houses. So it should be understood that this is not a policy position, but a conversation," he said.

Garwe first revealed the issue at a Parliament pre-budget seminar last week.

He said his ministry was working closely with the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) so that the land is subdivided and increase the number of houses in lowdensity areas.

"Those who live in Borrowdale are aware that the stands are five acres, two acres and the minimum 100 square metres.

"A house and every activity in that space occupies less than 2 000 square metres, so the other is dead space. We are now working closely with ZIDA to motivate the development of such dead spaces so that we increase the number of human settlements, the number of houses, clusters including in all low-density suburbs," he said.

The minister's sentiments come at a time local authorities are saddled with huge housing waiting lists, with Harare City Council alone recording over one million.

ZIDA, which was established by the government and is supervised by the Office of the President and Cabinet, will help push for investments in the areas, Garwe said.

Harare has run out of land after barons parcelled out large tracts of State land to unsuspecting home seekers, who established illegal settlements.

Source - newsday

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