Govt in 2m housing shortfall – Chalikosa

WORKS and supply minister Sylvia Chalikosa says the government has a shortage of office space and houses for public workers in excess of two million houses countrywide.

Chalikosa also says there has been some form of negligence on the aspect of maintenance of public infrastructure for a long time and now it is costing the government a lot of money.

Speaking when British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley accompanied by country director for international trade Vichaya Kaira paid a courtesy call on her at the ministry headquarters, Chalikosa said her ministry had identified some properties that can be redeveloped using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) system which enables a win-win situation.

She invited the British business community to partner with Zambia as it embarks on the redevelopment of wasting assets under its transformation agenda.

Chalikosa said her ministry which was the custodian of public infrastructure and motor vehicles had put measures in place that would enhance the prudent usage of the facilities for the benefit of the general public.

She said there had been some form of negligence on the aspect of maintenance of public infrastructure for a long time and that now it was costing the government a lot of money hence her ministry’s move to address the issue.

Chalikosa spelt out two areas of development which were the maintenance of public infrastructure and government fleet management which fall under her ministry.

She said in the just launched Government Fleet Management Policy, the government had come up with an optimum number of vehicles for the pooling system where not everyone was entitled to personal-to-holder vehicles.

She said the Fleet Management Policy implementation was one of the key activities her ministry was undertaking immediately.

Chalikosa who was flanked by permanent secretary Agnes Musunga also mentioned horticulture, a unit under her ministry, which she said equally needed upgrading as it played a vital role in beautifying the environment.

High Commissioner Woolley appreciated what the government was working on and commended the idea of using PPP for upscaling development in the country.

He was grateful to Chalikosa for the meeting which opened up various areas of development.

This is according to ministry public relations officer Ndubi Mvula.

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