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Unprecedented resources are being allocated for the development of housing and associated infrastructure in East Africa
The metropolis of Lusaka is abound with numerous facades that have sprouted as landmarks in the central business district (CBD) and beyond in the past few years. Standing magnificently in the centre of town is the architectural masterpiece, Central Park, added to the scenic beauty of the capital. Further afield, one’s line of sight is invaded by the must visit Manda Hill Shopping Complex which has just undergone a massive expansion programme.
These buildings, and others, have provided the impetus for mammoth investments in the construction sector with new developments springing up on every available piece of land for both commercial and domestic purposes.
The Manda Hill Expansion Project on the thoroughfare to Eastern Zambia offers a good example of what can be done. The owners, HBW of South Africa, are involved in identifying and investing in strategic property and developing large retail centres with national and international partners. $100mn was spent on the expansion and redesigning of the shopping complex including a new one and two-storey buildings to accommodate office space, furniture shop, leading boutiques, cinemas, restaurants on an open piazza setting, a two-storey packing deck, unveiling a shopper-friendly environment.
Another project worth of note in the capital is the $200mn National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) development project dubbed ‘Levy Business Park’ (named after the late president) at ESCO site which commenced in November 2008. The project is to be undertaken by Liberty Property of South Africa, which is renowned for projects such as Sandton City Shopping Centre, Eastgate Shopping Centre and Nelson Mandela Square. Other high profile building projects include the construction of a quality, environmentally-friendly diplomatic office building with annexes, to be constructed at the Embassy Park in Lusaka. Costings for this project are estimated at between Euro 3.5mn and Euro 5mn.
Participation and pre-qualification was open to national and international joint ventures (JVs), providing that at least one partner is registered with the National Council for Construction (NCC).
The country’s government has also initiated a housing programme to construct at least 12,000 housing units countrywide under a public-private partnership (PPP) programme. Meanwood Property Development Corporation Limited is currently undertaking the Ndeke Village Housing Project, a large-scale medium cost housing initiative involving 4,500 plots.
According to Finance and National Planning deputy minister Chileshe Kapwepwe, these housing units will comprise 6,000 low cost houses, 4,500 medium cost and 1,500 high cost ones.
“In order to ensure that affordable housing is provided for our people, Government is involving the private sector in infrastructure and service delivery at various levels. We are hopeful that this initial phase will facilitate the construction of more units,” she elaborated. Not to be left out the Copperbelt boasts of the $160mn Copperbelt City, a mixed use development venture in Kitwe between a Zambian firm, Phoenix Materials, and a South African property company (HBW Group). The two have formed a joint venture, TGP Properties Limited to undertake the project. The facility, being built along the Kitwe – Chingola road will comprise a shopping mall and hotel.
“In excess of $2bn will be invested in the area. Construction works at Levy Junction in Lusaka has started and we hope to create more jobs for our people from these developments. The construction of a new mall on the Copperbelt will create jobs for the locals,” enthused Commerce, Trade & Development minister Felix Mutati.