Building owners in Harare are being encouraged to repaint and renovate their dilapidated buildings in line with Harare City council’s vision of attaining a world class city by 2025.
The city is driving an urban renewal programme starting with the Mbare Urban Renewal Programme. The city expects all property owners to have bought into the council’s world class vision by participating in the programmes.
The city cannot continue to have unsightly structures standing tall in the middle of the CBD. The onus to renovate lies with property owners with the city playing a complementary role.
Some owners notably fuel service stations have been leading in the upgrading drive as well as some hotels. There is a lot of urban decay especially in the Central Business District which is driving out business to new suburban shopping malls.
The council thrust has always been engagement and mutual understanding. We therefore expect property owners to follow the City by-laws without the council coming down heavy on anyone as stipulated the statutes.
Council statutes stipulate that buildings must be repainted and redecorated at least once every two years or so to improve the beauty, ambience and health standards.
The neglect of city buildings is not doing Harare’s drive to attract investment any good. A beautiful and well combed city attracts investors and tourists and is also a boon for business.
Areas that undergo urban renewal processes get an infusion of new and younger populations as crime rates drop, the quality of life rises and with it resident’s satisfaction.
Council benefits from efficient utilization of urban land resources.
Some of the CBD buildings are historic hence they need attention so as to preserve history as well as attracting tourists.
Council urges property owners not to only concentrate on making profits from rentals while neglecting the same buildings as this has contributed to tenants opting for fresher newer buildings and leaving the old dilapidated buildings.
Almost 50 percent of central business district office space is vacant because owners are doing nothing to improve the aesthetics of their premises.
Together we can make Harare shine again.