Local authorities finalise new masterplans

17 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Local authorities finalise new masterplans Minister Garwe

The ManicaPost

 

Lovemore Kadzura
Post Correspondent

LOCAL authorities in Manicaland are putting final touches on newly proposed masterplans which should be submitted to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works by June 30.

The Manica Post can reveal that out of Manicaland’s seven rural district councils and four urban councils, only Mutare City Council has been exemplary and updating its masterplan.

Local Government and Public Works Minister, Honourable Daniel Garwe, who was in Manicaland last week told stakeholders in Makoni and Mutare respectively that updated masterplans will enable local authorities to manage and diligently allocate land in their jurisdictions.

A masterplan can be defined as a dynamic long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development – making the connection between buildings, social settings, and their surrounding environments.

 

A masterplan includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals for a site’s population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities and land use.

It is based on public input, surveys, planning initiatives, existing development, physical characteristics, social and economic conditions.

Minister Garwa said this requirement follows the launch of the Call to Action and No Compromise to Service Delivery Policy by President Mnangagwa in November last year.

“All local authorities are called upon to up their game in all service delivery provision aspects such as roads, clean and safe water, sewer reticulation, obedience to laws, and most importantly, proper land allocation.

“An updated masterplan is one of the key requirements of the new policy and every council must submit its updated version by June 30, 2024. The era of haphazard settlements is over, and local authorities must make sure that their expansion correspond with the availability of civic facilities and infrastructure.

“All our councils must have evaluation rolls of their properties, and some do not even know the exact number of properties under their jurisdiction. These properties can be cash cows for councils if they are properly accounted for and managed. Councils should, not just wait for devolution funds and bail-outs from Treasury, but use their own internal resources to fund service delivery,” said Minister Garwe.

Mutasa Rural District Council’s acting chief executive officer, Engineer Tendai Danana said they will not apply for additional land as they have enough to cater for their expansion needs at their growth points and service centres.

“We are moving towards the deadline, and currently the report of study is in place and we are working on the policy proposals. There are no proposals for land expansion as the land for our development requirements is available within our growth points. We are mainly focusing on land use zoning to promote properly planned developments. We are also aiming to put in place policy proposals that encourage densification and optimum use of available land.

“Mutasa do not have an independent masterplan. However, there was a Mutasa-Nyanga combination which was supposed to operate up to 2011. So far we have made wide consultations with Government departments, private entities, and plantations owners, among others,” said Engineer Danana.

Rusape Town Council, which has been using an obsolete masterplan adopted in 1993, and had a lifespan of 15 years, has covered 70 percent of the work and the study plan has a boundary area of 34.17 square kilometers compared to the current whose boundary is 10.50km.

Rusape town secretary, Mr Solomon Gabaza said they are now at consultative stage where they are seeking stakeholders input.

“We are 70 percent complete of the masterplan. Our proposed masterplan has an area boundary of 34.17sq.km, while the current one is 10.50sq.km.

“The current masterplan was done in 1993 by the Department of Spatial Planning and Development and had a lifespan of 15 years. The main thrust of the assignment is to review the current masterplan which is mainly concerned with major policy issues affecting the planning and development of the whole area under the jurisdiction of Rusape Town Council,” said Mr Gabaza.

Makoni Rural District Council’s acting chief executive officer, Engineer Edmore Chidembo said work is progressing well with their first ever masterplan.

He said focus is being directed to growth points like Nyazura and Headlands, which have experienced exponential growth and demand for land for further expansion.

“Focus will be made on various service centres and the opportunities that can be consolidated within these areas. Each service centre will be treated on merits and what specific requirements relate to them, including demand for housing, Government services and community facilities.

“Nyazura and Headlands have specific growth opportunities which are being analysed and formulated. Masterplans have generally been prepared for urban areas and the Rusape masterplan has synergies with the rest of Makoni District from a town planning perspective. Many facilities proposed will serve areas such as hospitals, training facilities, schools and other uses.

“Most Government and district players have been consulted and they have assisted our masterplan team significantly to focus on critical areas. Our task now is to assimilate quick wins to be achieved for the district with the blessing of these participants and to develop a long term strategy for the district,” said Engineer Chidembo.

 

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