Zimbabwe's Construction Boom Chokes Building Materials Suppliers in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is experiencing a massive boom in housing construction spearheaded by the Government and private developers, which has choked supplies of critical raw materials with suppliers now struggling to cope with rising demand.

The spike in demand for cement is seen as a positive signal of economic growth and a confidence booster in the country.

Under the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy (ZNHSP), the country aims to build 225 000 housing units by 2025 with construction, which will have a ripple effect on other sectors of the economy such as the manufacturing industry, already underway.

The country's national housing backlog is currently hovering around 1, 5 million.

To meet the target, several housing projects are being undertaken by the Government and the private sector countrywide resulting in high demand for cement and other key raw materials.

Speaking to the Business Chronicle in Bulawayo on Friday on the sidelines of the tour of Hopelyn Housing Estate near Mahatshula suburb, Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Daniel Garwe, said cement manufacturers were struggling to cope with the pace of housing construction.

"Zimbabwe is experiencing a boom in housing construction and suppliers of critical raw materials such as cement are struggling to cope with the demand," he said.

"All our cement manufacturing companies are working round the clock to produce but they cannot meet the demand.

"We have a shortage of cement because of the massive boom in the housing sector. Cement manufacturing firms have to increase productivity," said the minister.
Zimbabwe's Construction Boom Chokes Building Materials Suppliers in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's Construction Boom Chokes Building Materials Suppliers in Zimbabwe
The Hopelyn project is being implemented by BancABC Zimbabwe on more than 650 hectares, and will provide at the very least 15 000 housing units.

Stage one is now more than 90 percent sold, with standalone homes, townhouses, schools and recreational areas.

The next stage will have a golf course, standalone houses, townhouse, clusters, apartments, office park, mall with cinemas and an outdoor children's park. Stage three is an 84-stand development with 672 apartments.

Building societies such as NBS Zimbabwe and giant insurance companies like Old Mutual are responding to the demand for housing through different initiatives in the country.

This has seen the operators coming up with several housing development schemes that are tailor-made to suit the different economic classes of the Zimbabwean society with terms that make it easier to own a home especially at a time the economy is grappling with liquidity challenges.

These range from loans to finance the construction of a house to mortgages for purchasing completed housing units.

Several capital-intensive projects are also taking shape as construction companies latch onto the infrastructural development activities that are taking place around the country, also piling pressure on building material supplies.

The Government on one hand is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure development including roads and dams.

In line with Government's devolution agenda, more funds have been released to finance the construction of schools and hospitals in all provinces.

On the other hand, private sector development projects have been on the rise especially investment in commercial structures.

House construction has also given momentum to the sector, largely driven by diaspora funds.

Source: The Chronicle

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