The implementation of site and service schemes in a depressed economy: the case study of Beitbridge, Zimbabwe

Siwawa, Vincent
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The implementation of site and service schemes (S & SS) as a low cost sustainable housing arrangement in Beitbridge may not succeed in a depressed economy entrenched with both formal and informal approaches to project implementation. The delivery of low cost houses though S & SS as a low cost sustainable housing delivery approach has not lived up to its expectations, leaving much be desired except to arouse people’s concerted efforts to project implementation. This is in spite of a partnership which promised to be a potential success in providing serviced sites with infrastructure and services and reduce the housing backlog in Beitbridge. The depressed economy eroded household incomes, reduced government public funding of housing development and reduced municipal capacity to provide infrastructure which corresponds with the increased rate of housing development. Following an insightful in-depth interview methodology and several transect walk to the Dulivhadzimu West S & SS Project site, I argue that implementation of the scheme in terms of administrative, infrastructure provision and financial aspects were weak to enable successful implementation of the conventional approach to the scheme. The implementation inadvertently shifted to informal and unplanned approach to the dismay of the municipality and implementing partner and ended up benefiting the high income people who could afford paying for the services. As such, there were no clear regulatory mechanisms and modalities to enable the targeted low-income people to be beneficiaries of the scheme which was hijacked and benefited the high income people in Beitbridge. As a result, this has resulted in self-help approaches as resulting in self built houses through parallel and incremental development and informal adoption of alternative conventional infrastructure like septic tanks for sanitation facilities. Although the scheme is still in the early stages of project implementation, it clear that the trajectory of the implementation has changed and that the low income people, as the target population, might have been missed.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Built Environment in Housing Johannesburg May 2018
Siwawa, Vincent (2018) The implementation of site and service schemes in a depressed economy: the case study of Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>