By Ruth Ngwenya HARARE, October 20 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s newest mortgage lender, National Building Society (NBS), on Thursday launched its first housing project valued at $2 million under an agreement with Lafarge Cement.
The mortgage lender, which opened its doors in May, is wholly owned by state-run pension fund National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
The project, which is targeted at Lafarge employees, will see 85 houses of sizes varying between 200 and 400 square metres being constructed in Adelaide Park, the Ruwa area of eastern Harare, by December.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Lafarge Chief Executive Officer, Amal Tantawi, said NBS was providing finance cheaper than most banks.
“Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe believes that an employee becomes greatly empowered when they own a house that they can call home. It’s in line with the national thrust of addressing the well documented housing backlog by availing affordable housing. We will be doing the same elsewhere,” she said.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was also present at the occasion, said the involvement of private enterprises would go a long way in reducing the country’s housing backlog estimated at over 1.25 million units.
“The involvement of Lafarge, Shelter Zimbabwe and Epworth local board on this project demonstrates the vast potential and efficacy of Private-Private Partnerships (PPPs). PPPs have the potential to be engines of economic development, not only in the housing sector but also in socio-economic sectors.”
Mnangagwa added that housing co-operatives had managed to construct close to 95 000 housing units between 2010 and 2015.