The Sunday Mail
OWNERS of flats in Mbare are set to receive sectional title deeds upon completion of the ongoing renovations of the apartments in a move meant to infuse a sense of ownership of the accommodation facilities.
Matapi flats are currently undergoing major refurbishments, which will see some parts of the facilities being turned into fully-contained family apartments.
The move to give title deeds comes in the wake of reports that most people living in the hostels were tenants and the owners are reportedly not remitting rentals to Harare City Council.
Government has since instructed Harare City Council to come up with a register of the owners, who will be served with the title deeds within the next few months.
FGC Singapore, together with Harare City Council architects, are currently working on painting the buildings and rehabilitating the sewer and water systems. Government is also working on building a block of new flats in Mbare and treasury has since been directed to float a $150 million bond for the construction.
The models at Mbare flats will also be used at Bulawayo’s Makokoba flats as well as Sakubva flats in Mutare.
The refurbishment is being done under the framework of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which identifies provision of decent housing as one of the priority national projects.
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo said the refurbishment of the flats was part of an urban renewal programme.
“There are 58 blocks of flats in Matapi and we have requested the company working on renovations to partner with the local authority to work on the sewer and water system at the flats,” he said.
“Originally, we wanted to start by building new structures so that residents would move in while we renovate the flats, but this was taking longer than anticipated due to inadequate funds.
“However, Government has since approved a $150 million bond that will be used to build high rise flats in Mbare in three locations.
“We also want the tenants to obtain title deeds, sectional title deeds, so that we restore that pride, where families say; ‘this is my own’.
“All this fits into the vision that was presented to Cabinet about Mbare, including Mukuvisi River.
“We will be working on Mbare, Sakubva and Makokoba using the same model on all the settlements, even in smaller towns.”
Harare mayor, Herbert Gomba said the local authority’s housing department and social development will soon start looking into how to process the title deeds.
“Beginning next month, the department of housing will be looking at how the process will be done,” he said.
“We will be engaging the ministry on the way forward after we are done with that process.”
The renovations of the flats are part of the pledge by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure families have decent accommodation.
President Mnangagwa visited the area last year after an inferno left 65 families homeless and promised to ensure the flats were renovated.