Nssa eyes 15 000 housing units

HARARE - The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) is planning to construct nearly 15 000 housing units across the country this year.

Nssa chairperson Robin Vela yesterday said the pension administrator’s unit — National Building Society (NBS) — was in negotiations with several stakeholders on the construction of houses.

“A new low-cost housing project was launched in April 2017 in Chinhoyi. The first phase involves the construction of 723 housing units,” he said in a second quarter update.

“Similar projects are being mooted in all major towns with Nssa engaged in offtake discussions, at an advanced stage, for developments in Derbyshire, Harare (1 010 units), Caledonia, Harare (8 000 units), Emganwini, Bulawayo (800 units), and the National University Science and Technology University area student accommodation (4 800 units),” Vela added.

The development is expected to ease the country’s housing backlog, which is estimated to be around 1,25 million.

Vela also indicated that the deep-pocketed social security authority is planning to continue supporting the agriculture sector through funding after it injected $20 million into the 2016/2017 farming season for the production and supply of critical basal and top dressing fertilisers.

“It is Nssa’s intention to continue pursuing such structured trade transactions, which generate positive investment returns for the authority, while also providing meaningful support for strategic national programmes.

“As such, a syndicated financing package for fertiliser producers for the 2017/18 crop was completed in this quarter,” he said.

The Nssa boss noted that the pension administrator, which recorded a $105 million profit last year,  has invited proposals from potential investors and has received proposals from at least two internationally-recognised medical houses to operate Ekusileni Hospital.

The specialist hospital — a brainchild of the late nationalist and Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo — was built

in 2001 and was subsequently shut down after it was discovered that the acquired equipment, worth millions of dollars, was obsolete.

Vela said refurbishments of St Tropez demo apartments were completed last month, while the public will soon be invited to view and gauge the interest in preparation for sale with the NBS providing mortgage finance.

“A strategic decision was made to increase the authority’s presence in the short-term insurance sector through an additional investment in Nicoz Diamond which became a subsidiary of Nssa in May 2017.

“Nicoz Diamond is a dominant player in the short-term insurance market and fits well in the strategic insurance cluster held by the authority,” he said.

In the period under review, Nssa also made a decision to invest in the troubled Cold Storage Commission (CSC).

“The proposed schemes of arrangement are yet to be registered with the High Court due to an opposing challenge which was filed by a former CSC employee,” Vela said.

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mamareeva - 12 July 2017

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