Govt committed to infrastructure development

Govt committed to infrastructure development
Published: 12 September 2013
Government is committed to the development of the country through sustainable infrastructure investment.

Speaking at a conference for architects held in Harare last week, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, George Mlilo, said for markets to function efficiently, infrastructure development had to be at the centre of economic development.

The conference, running under the theme "Sustainable infrastructure Development", was organised by the Institute of Architecture of Zimbabwe (IAZ), a professional body whose main objective is to promote the art of architecture and architectural education in the country.

"It gives me confidence that our country's built environment professional bodies have seen it fit to voice their concerns and allow members to deliberate on this topic of sustainable infrastructure development," said Mlilo.

"As government we reaffirm our commitment to renewed development through infrastructure investment in the country.

He said infrastructure development was a critical component of modern life and it affects the competitiveness of the country's business.

Architects are not allowed by law to advertise themselves and the general feeling from architects was that only a few are benefiting from governments projects.

However, Mlilo revealed that his ministry would ensure equitable distribution of architectural work as this would also enable growth in the construction industry.

"My ministry will ensure an equal distribution of government related projects amongst all architects to strengthen your positions by taking part in large scale government projects," he said.

"Come to us and show us your capabilities and what you have done and we will come up with a way on how we should pick up on you."

However, he asked the architects to bear with government as it is currently waiting for funding for old projects that were already undertaken before it embarks on new ones.

The government has hundreds of incomplete projects but Mlilo disclosed that it would overlook those which are less than 80 percent complete.

The conference broadened awareness on the impact of buildings on environment and natural resources.

Also speaking during the occasion, South Africa-based sustainability consultant, Vere Shaba, challenged architects to ensure that buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way that would allow Zimbabweans to work and live in healthy, efficient and productive environment.

Modern day architecture ranges from classical to current "green" architecture which is now a topical and relevant subject.

Architecture is there to encompass more than the building itself. The design aspect needs to deal with the environment.

Power and energy are also issues of concern within the architecture fraternity.

Architects need to research in alternative designs that result in "green" architecture that focus on conservation of energy and have less dependency on fossil fuel, that maximise on harnessing solar energy and wind power farming.

Other speakers included Tinashe Rwodzi, the Institute of Chartered Accountants president who presented a paper on business ethics in the current environment and IAZ president, Irene Masiyanise.
- fingaz


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