Vic Falls runs out of land for housing

By Nokuthaba Dlamini 

Victoria Falls Municipality has appealed to the government to provide more land to meet the growing demand for housing in the resort town.

Victoria Falls with a population of 35 000 according to the 2012 census has a housing backlog in excess of 15 000.

The appeal was made by Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor Somvelo Dlamini during a visit by Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe to the resort town on Friday.

Mayor Dlamini said the local authority had run out of land to construct more houses.

“This local authority is a proud participant in the delivery of housing settlements in line with Government’s vision towards attaining an upper middle-income society by 2030. In pursuit of sustainable development goals, we are committed to providing shelter to our people from all walks of life in the interest of creating a sustainable city,” he said.

“The development of industry, in our case the tourism industry has resulted in the urgent need for housing from players and employees. As a result, the town faces a huge demand from people who need shelter, but due to geographical location the town has exhausted land for housing. It is, therefore, my plea to you Honourable Minister (Housing Minister Daniel Garwe) to help us in terms of availing land for development so that we can buttress the vision espoused by the Transitional Stabilisation programme (TSP).”

Cllr Dlamini said the town plans to demolish some old structures and replace them with modern houses.

Areas targeted for refurbishment are parts of Chinotimba especially Railways section, Emadonkini, Durawall and Esikhwahleni.

“We are alive to Government’s pursuit of the urban regeneration programme which is going to increase sustainability of our town as a prime destination in the region and continent at large. The task is to do away with dilapidated infrastructure and sprucing up the image of the town, its residential and commercial properties thereby creating a quality standard of infrastructure,” said the Mayor.

Minister Garwe said Government is working on an urban renewal programme which will see a new town being built at Masue Estate outside Victoria Falls town to ease housing backlog.

This is part of an urban renewal programme which will see buildings constructed before Independence being demolished or refurbished.

“We want to ensure that there is urban renewal to remove all old and dilapidated houses that are in town and replace them with new housing for our civil servants. The transformation of Victoria Falls is what we are focusing on in terms of provision of social housing and amenities that are modern and climate-proof, that speak to the future and to Vision 2030. We will be working very closely with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the local authorities in the development of Masue City. It’s a new town which will be housing people from Victoria Falls and Hwange,” said Minister Garwe.

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