Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport: Harare Case Study

Abstract

Harare is in a dire situation in terms of having the ability to finance, maintain and construct its own infrastructure. The city has a large infrastructural base that it battles to maintain and extend, largely due to an absence of finance, which is compounded by the overall weakness of the economy. Political considerations have tended to outweigh the needs for sound infrastructure governance, with a resulting weakness of institutions like the Harare City Council. For example, the national government has proposed a new capital city, approximately 100km from Harare. Master plans are in place to relocate Zimbabwe’s parliament and reportedly approved by the national cabinet. The effects that this development might have on Harare, a city already struggling for sources of finance, service provision and infrastructural maintenance, may be largely negative. When this is placed alongside the inability of the city to manage rapid and quasi-legal peri-urban growth and the difficulty of using the statutory value capture instruments to raise funds for infrastructure investment from developers the overall picture emerging from Harare is not promising.

In compiling this report, limitations on the extent and accuracy of Zimbabwean city data have emerged. Where data is present, it is often not recent enough to be reliable or it is presented ambiguously. The fieldwork conducted during this study made use of in-depth interviews – with Harare city officials, private developers, planners, members of civil society and relevant scholars – which presented key information on the topic, but are inherently subjective. The researchers have done their utmost to verify all the comments made during the interviews, but it is possible, and perhaps likely, that some evidence may not be entirely accurate.

Citation

Anon. Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport: Harare Case Study. African Centre for Cities, Cape Town, South Africa (2015) 55 pp.

Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport: Harare Case Study

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