GOVERNMENT has given a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) subsidiary, Homelink, additional land for 3000 housing units in response to the oversubscription of a housing project in Tynwald.
Homelink has embarked on a housing project mainly targeting those living outside the country.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday said the additional land would be in Kuwadzana and Mabvuku.
“I am giving you 1 500 stands in Kuwadzana and 1 500 stands in Mabvuku. If you have a waiting list of 600 now you have 3000 stands,” Kasukuwere said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Tynwald housing project.
Homelink board chairman Moris Mpofu had earlier on pleaded with government and local authorities for additional land adding that the Tynwald project had been oversubscribed by more than three times with 600 on the waiting list when the project accommodates 180 units.
Of the buyers, 70% should be Diasporans while the remainder would be local. Mpofu said the launch of the housing project was a culmination of months of work and diligence.
It is estimated that over three million Zimbabweans are living outside the country.
Of that number 70% are in South Africa while the UK accounts for 13%, Mpofu said.
He said the investment in housing was designed to foster Diaspora- driven investments into the country.
It is estimated that remittances will reach $1 billion this year. The same figure is expected in unofficial circles. In 2014, remittances were $824 million, more than foreign direct investments (FDI) at $545 million.
RBZ governor John Mangudya said the country needed to see more cranes at work as construction was a barometer of economic development.
He said people in the Diaspora need investments and his job was to ensure that the investments were safeguarded.
“We want foreign currency into the country. Twenty percent of foreign currency comes from remittances, higher than FDI,” he said.
Homelink had a “for sale” tag as RBZ thought it was a non-core asset.
The decision to sell the subsidiary was rescinded last year.
The company has now been restructured forming four strategic business units—Proplink, Masterlink, Investlink and Easylink — to draw resources from the Diaspora to grow the economy. Proplink is focused on industrial, commercial and residential development for the Diaspora.
In his mid-term monetary policy review, Mangudya said Proplink would also develop shopping malls, factories, office complexes, schools, hospitals and resort facilities.
He said the development of these facilities would be financed through Diaspora property development bonds with subscribers in the Diaspora having the option for equity participation.