Norton is set to unveil a masterplan that will guide the town’s development for the next 20 years.
As part of the processes it has opened up to the residents for any objections on the current draft masterplan.
Below we reproduce local legislator Temba Mliswa’s letter of objection to various aspects of the draft masterplan.
HON. T.P MLISWA, NORTON TOWN COUNCIL DRAFT MASTER PLAN OBJECTIONS.
I commend the Council’s Compliance to the Acts of Parliament governing it in coming up with such a Proposed blue print ushered out for Public asv scrutiny. Please kindly note my contributions, concerns and acknowledgements to the Master Plan as the Member of Parliament for Norton Constituency mandated to constitutionally perform the roles of representation, legislation and oversight.
NB: Section 1 has contributions specific to the findings from the draft written statement.
Section 2 has contributions pertaining the findings from the draft reports of the study.
DRAFT WRITTEN STATEMENT CONTRIBUTIONS.
Section 1.1 through 1.1.3.
The planning authority notes that Norton needs more land so as to accommodate current and anticipated demand for the various land uses.
In the above regard it is essential to note that be that as it is much positive for Norton to expand physically and have enough land for the stipulated various land uses, if Norton continues to expand urban development without matching employment facilities it will continue to be a dormitory town. There is need for rational planning so that Norton can grow matching Industries as a source of employment. The urban development should match with Agro-Industries functional throughout the year.
As pointed out on 1.1.3, there is rapid population growth in Norton which is expected to double in the plan period. It must be understood that the growing population is alluded to the fact that Norton is more dormitory as mentioned earlier, because it is cheaper for those who work in Harare to buy stands in Norton.
Therefore, Norton Town Council has to ensure residential development does not compromise its residents who would end up not affording stands. Norton Town Council has to come up with mechanisms, initiatives and verification systems to ensure that the waiting list and any residential take ups benefit its LOCALS.
The development for Norton should essentially benefit the Norton people for it is for the Norton people first who are directly of the planning authorities’ area of jurisdiction.
Point 1.1.2 of the Part 1 of the Written Statement avers that there is need to control illegal and unplanned activities.
The planning authority further avers that there is need to control subdivision of farms for residential purposes. This essentially is a sign of some great inadequacies. Norton Town Council should investigate these change of land uses if it is to plan with people not for people.
KEY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PART 1 SECTION 1.1 TO 1.1.3
As Norton continues to expand, its urban development should have matching employment facilities or else it will continue to be dormitory which is retrogressive.
The Urban Development should also match with Agro-Industries functional throughout the year.
Norton Town Council should ensure that its residential development does not compromise its residents who would end up not affording stands. It should ensure that the waiting list and any residential take ups should benefit its locals.
Section 1.2 through 1.12
Section 1.2 portrays that residential developments take up the greatest portion of developable area and thereby, Norton remains predominantly a dormitory town to Harare.
The planning authority then stipulates that there is need to provide land for economic activities to support residential developments taking place in the town. Of note is that this is overdue and very necessary. This should be a priority in this planning period and some necessary Public Private Partnerships should be engaged on so as to enshrine efficiency of the initiatives.
Further noted is that rapid urban expansion is eating into agricultural land and there is need to create a balance by protecting some of the agricultural land from threats posed by residential development.
In this regard, it is now high time there are Urban Agro-Plans in Norton. So many unemployed are in Norton and this can address such. An Urban Agro Plan is now overdue. The planning authority should call a consultant and develop an Agro-setup plan.
On the issue of water, sewer to mention just a few, there is need to take up these issues to private investors within Norton through PPPs. Such companies like Sunny Yi Feng, Dandy to mention just a few should help improve these facilities through some corporate social responsibilities.
On 1.3 traffic and transportation, it is pointed out that the roads are in poor condition and are inadequate.
The study availed that 74% of the respondents make use of commuter omnibuses and 26% make use of private vehicles. Of the public infrastructure pointed out as needed by the planning authority during the planning period is a main terminus and bus stops along major routes.
Considering that the planning period is up to 2040, it is very much short sighted to limit development to a mere main terminus and bus stops. It might sound ambitious but this 20 year plan could have focus on one spaghetti complex road Harare-Norton – with such super highway technology. It is time to stop having a mind-set that to think of a super highway is something else.
On the need for more schools, it is imperative to comprehend that Central Government is incapacitated to assist with such developments be that as they are very much imperative. Therefore, the planning authority source out investors and embark on some twinning systems so that some institutional capacity building mechanisms are done to enhance the planning authorities’ chances of attracting investors.
The economically active group accounts for the majority of the respondents of the master plan and this highlights the need to create employment opportunities. In this regard, it is essential to fully comprehend that the first type of employment creation are Urban-agro set ups. They are easy to establish, less paying but more labour intensive.
The high rate of unemployment considered one of the pressing problems in the planning area calls for the creation of employment zones; in this regard the planning authority should check with Dr. Gono on how the SEZ- Special Economic Zones are benefiting Norton.
Section 1.7.3 of Part 1 stipulates that Norton remains connected to the ZESA national grid from Kariba. With new neighbourhoods not yet connected, almost half the population is using wood and this is a deep worry. Thus, solar farms are a way to go for Norton. There is need for investing in solar farms for Norton for the next 20 years of this plan (bio digester use, solar farms and individual solar set ups).
On the commercial phase (1.8), considering that the population is going to double during the plan period; need to improve and expand on the commercial services provided in the plan area has been noted. In this regard, it must be noted that the one reason why Katanga is popular is because it provides all essential services – so one stop commercial services are key as they are affordable e.g. one can get small packs of sugar at an informal centre.
On factor 1.9 under the industrial section, the planning authority argues that the original stand sizes are too big and targeted for big companies and enterprises yet current demand for working space is for SMEs. In this regard, they intend to review policies on industrial stands and further reduce the stand sizes. It is very essential to note that the future of Norton is in these large industrial stands.
There is absolutely no need to downsize the industrial stands; No! Investors will come. The SMEs come and go and they actually dream to become big. They should just be allocated their own stands. Downsizing industrial stands is actually killing the dream of the one still at the SME stage.
On the deforestation aspect (1.11), there is a need to apply a statutory instrument of forestry commission. It allows trading of firewood in an organized controlled manner.
On section 1.12 of Part 1, the fact that Norton Town Council still does not have autonomy in dealing with land matters and land continues to be sold at sub-economic rates. This must change. The council must gain land to bar and avoid land barons.
This is the reason why Norton is a hub of land barons. It never benefitted from Gazetted land directly but land developers coming in as land owners. This is one of the issues NTC should start with NOW rather than wait for this plan.
KEY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PART 1 SECTION 1.2 TO 1.12.
NTC should call a consultant and develop Agro-Urban set up Plan which is overdue in Norton.
The issue of infrastructure and development should be taken up to the private investors within Norton through Public Private Partnerships. Companies surrounding Norton like Sunny Yi Feng should help improve these and the planning authority should engage with them.
On traffic and transportation, be that as it may sound ambitious, it is essential in this 20 year plan to focus on one spaghetti complex road Norton to Harare. With such super highway technology; it is a vision that can be achieved.
On schools, it is essential to grasp that Central Government is incapacitated right now to fund the building of schools. There is need to loo investors to develop these things.
There is need for the planning authority to check with Dr. Gono on how the SEZ- special economic zones are benefitting Norton.
On electricity supply; solar farms are a way to go for Norton considering half of the population is using wood (Bio digester Use; solar farms and individual solar set ups).
One stop commercial services are a way to go in improving commercial services.
On the Industrial aspect, it’s very essential to note that the future of Norton is in these large industrial stands – there is no need to downsize them. Investors will come and the SMEs come and go, they need to be allocated theirs.
On deforestation, there is need to apply a statutory instrument of forestry commission. It allows trading of firewood in an organized controlled manner.
On administration and finance, council must gain land to bar and avoid land barons. This is the reason why Norton is a hub of land barons. It never benefitted from gazetted land directly but land developers coming in as land owners. This is one of the issues NTC should start with NOW rather than wait for this plan.
Section 2.1 through 2.7.4
The goal mentioned by the panning authority at 2.11 a) of providing sufficient land to cater for the current and future needs of the town and at the same time improve and preserve the environment and water bodies as it will help solve the chaos caused by land barons.
Appropriate zonings in preserving prime agricultural land and urban development should consider introduction of Agro-Urban Plots.
On section 2.2.1, be that as it is commendable to on the housing aspect to provide adequate, inclusive and affordable housing that dovetails with the projected population growth and the need to preserve the environment. It is essential to not only be anchored on residential developments but the expansion should be in line with social services as schools, clinics to mention just a few.
There is no good reason to expand residential set ups with no services. When Mabelreign was developed; Hallingbury School, Mabelreign Girls, Ellis Robinsa and Alfred Beit were built. When Waterfalls was developed, Lord Malvern and Frank Johnson was built. Moreso, when Mbare was developed, Harare High etc. were built. In this regard, how can we just build houses without schools? The current shortage of schools situation in Norton pray tells everything.
On policies mentioned on 2.2.3 it is great that housing delivery will be achieved through various approaches including; site servicing and sale; consortium developments; private public partnerships; local authority and government programmes. Of all this schools and clinics must be a must to any land developer.
On section 2.5.1, it is essential to note that the reason why there is going to be a provision of community and recreational facilities is because the Norton population has so much youth.
The proposal number 9 on section 2.5.4 is very important and it should be number 1 on the proposal. Norton cannot depend on Banket. The upgrading of the hospital into a provincial hospital is extremely crucial to this planning system.
On cemeteries; it is essential to avoid cemeteries within the confines of the town. Cemeteries to be on the peripheries.
On objective 2.6.2; there is need to really have a sectorial plan for the integrated transportation system. There is also need to have a local transport plan for Norton specific needs because this plan is for the next 20 years which is a lot. The plan should have modern technology of fast modes of transport and means.
Section 2.7.3 where stands will be provided with water, electricity and sanitary facilities should be prioritised. Norton should move away from Blair, Bush toilets found by the Report of the Study. These are an eyesore in his era- RURALISATION OF NORTON.
Section 3.0 through 3.4
On 3.0 Finance and implementation; the consultant avers that,” The lack of unwillingness of the Central government to fully decentralise all its functions…” what does the consultant mean here.
There have been some various devolution workshops held because already we are in the highest level of devolution era with Norton Town Council itself getting a devolution fund from Central Government. May the consultant elaborate with some clarity here.
On the 3.2 Implementation and phasing; how can the implementing agents just be Central Government and the Local Authority? This is a recipe for great inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
The next 20 years are a great deal in the development of Zimbabwe at large. This calls for collaboration from various actors; this include Public Private Actors, Investors, Development Partners, Diaspora, Donors, Politicians to mention just a few. Anything that needs financing should include several option player funders rather than just relying on the Local Authority or Government. This will scare away donors. Implementing agents should be mixed of Local Investors and other various players.
It is very commendable to review the Master Plan every 5 years as stipulated on the monitoring section (3.3). However, this monitoring and evaluation should have stipulated tools to do so and also should be merged with the Nation’s Vision 2030 amidst being in line with the planning authorities’ annual plans.
General issues from the report of Study
The consultant cited certain parastatals to have refused or unwilling to give information as input to the Master Plan Page 13 of The Report of Study, meaning at the end of the day the data from these important organisation is to be omitted yet they are very important organisations in the Planning Process (thus cited as limitations.) Is this still the same scenario because as a legislator I need also to know why they have failed to contribute if it is a requirement to have their inputs.
My reasons being;
Norton is surrounded by Mining Claims so for any urban expansion the Mines Act overrides any development then if we do not have an input into the Master Plan from the same Overriding ministry, how are we going to be guided in terms of expansion, mining rights visa vis development control.
Information on railway infrastructure and facilities is not available. How are we going to move with technology in terms of trafficking people by fast rails like other countries or to – achieve an efficient traffic flow as prescribed by Harare Combination Master Plan HCMP of which this Plan also subscribe to.( policy 7 page 13.)
ZETDC- Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, tell me how we are going to improve the built environment without ZETDCs input. ZETDC is important in any development aspect of the Town.
Zimbabwe Parks and wildlife Authority.
Lake Chivero and Darwendale are key water bodies adjacent to Norton, key recreational parks near Norton, and if we plan without their input. The Dams are resources influencing the status of the people. Their employment, their local recreational life and diversity of function by providing a wide variety of choice of activities as provided in objective number 3 of the HCMP, Page 13 objective 3
This is the same with National Museum and monuments.
I kindly urge to incorporate their inputs before making a final Master Plan for every key Stakeholder is important.
We do not want any limitations to this noble blue print on matters that can be solvable.
COMMENTS FROM THE REPORT OF STUDY
Section 1,7,3 – page 15
Because the Norton Master Plan stated the need to consider key national policies that guide it eg EMA Act is one such governing Act. It would be of interest to note the EIA of the Tile Company this time and any other investing companies to ensure the concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is incorporated. Such CSRs will help fund the social needs of the Norton community, such as
Bursting sewer pipes
Social safety nets eg food provisions under COVID 19 to the vulnerable.
Educational facilities, why not for every investor a block or two of classrooms
Retail shops and commercial centres development
Sustainable energy sources
Sustainable water supply
Proper waste management techniques that promote employment, recycling processes.
Section 1.8 – page 15
Inferences where made to Norton Water and Sanitation Master Plan whose provision will be provided in this Master Plan.
I kindly request evidence that support that the Norton Water and Sanitation Master Plan is people oriented.
Page 28: Sand mining- From the Report Study there is non involvement of indigenous people in the Planning Area hence Degradation, conflicts and contradictions on Lands rights and responsibilities.
Page 28: About 6 Residential Areas namely Kingsdale, Marshlands, Garikai housing, Ngoni north infill, Galloway, Twinlakes infills are not connected to electricity.
What does this imply? Ruralisation of Norton meaning people are using basic Rural setup gadgets in an urban setup.
Kingdale, Marshlands, Garikai Housing, Ngoni North infills, Golloway, Twinlakes Infills- a major concern to my office.
For the planning period of 20 years, expected population would be more than double- this is a concern to me- meaning Youth Projects are necessary.
Kindly ensure that the youth are given a chance to deliver.
Page 31 and 32
57,7% of women childbearing age is 15-49
14,7% children below 5years
Average Household 4 people
41% are young population, fun enough more boys than girls
88,6% are the economically active
These figures above mean a lot in terms of deliverables such as
Youth projects to avoid drug abuse
Educational facilities both Primary,
Secondary and ECD
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) as these provide knowledge and skills for employment. TVETs are crutial vehicles for
This is because Norton is more dormitory hence cheaper accommodation.
Dangers of ruralisation of the unelectirified areas.
Note that Norton is host to immigrants from other countries like Mozambique and Malawi who where former commercial farm employees. These constitute 3% and there is need for a special planning scheme that needs to promote Urban Agriculture and peri-urban Agriculture since employment is a problem. This will help ensure food security.
Most are informal due to closure of Hunyani and other Industries.
68% operate from informal premises, road side shacks and front shops.
Formal operation spaces are needed, cheap markert stalls and cubicles with water and Sanitation facilities.
90% of people are informal sector
Average household income less than 250 well below poverty datum line hence hand to mouth
Operation legal spaces for these people are a big concern.
Many depend on fish harvesting as Norton is endowed with many water sources for livelihoods. There is need for a Localised Quota allocation of fishing permits to ensure locals have a greater share in benefiting from these water bodies.
Waiting list is 6900 for high density
Low density waiting list is 1435
This is a housing problem as most of the developed stands seem to be taken by people from outside Norton as Norton is too dormitory with most residential stands partially serviced- not very good fact-ruralisation effects.
There is need for the housing department to critically provide information on how this waiting list percentage take off is at like what percent during a planning year gets housing and be struck off the waiting list. What are the measures to ensure that the said waiting list are residents from the planning area? NORTON council is dormitory to Harare hence the waiting list needs to depict real Norton residents.
These temporary settlements are sprouting hence a health hazard especially this time of COVID 19.This is a concern to me.
There should be mechanisms and a Proposal of low cost housing and it is important.
93% of housing are formal, 7% are shacks this ratio is commendable as the smaller percentage of shacks can be well managed
Kingsdale has been cited as developing without any Inspection from NTC- can these people be helped to regularise and advised accordingly and timeously by NTC
Shopping centres available have no adequate facilities for residents and hence do not provide enough. On this one the NTC can liaise with property developers, private businesses investors, politicians, leaders within and outside its jurisdiction to develop one stop shop commercial centres close to residential areas that provides almost all.
There seems to be more industrial land according to the study, remember Norton was created after World War II industrial boom hence large industrial sites.
My office can facilitate looing more industrialist as there seems to be more land for this plus large labour. There is need to take advantage of the SEZoning Special EconomicZoning
This is rampant according to the Study. It tells the need to focus on cooperative allotments to keep the unemployed busy, A well managed sustainable urban Agriculture programme is necessary.
Solid waste disposal
The 5 ‘R’ concept is necessary (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Relegate) as this will help create employment.
It is also time to loo investors to initiate sustainable energy sources such as Biodigesters as these depend on biodegradable waste.
Norton has a deficit water supply and gets water from City of Harare yet near 2 lakes – need to loo investors on this one. Water purification plant already identified is 10%complete. So there is need to proffer up this project, honestly the master plan area is bound by 2 major sources yet residents have no enough water ummm????? There is need for coordinated leadership.
The Study calls for Norton to focus on Green energy sources as these are less common in the area. There is need to source biogas digester and solar investors as zesa is very expensive now.
There is Door to door firewood supplies in Norton- more use firewood-ruralisation of Norton. This is very environmentally unsustainable. There is need to liaise with Forestry commission where individuals or cooperatives are formed that trade in firewood on a regulated and controlled manner.
This will also create organised cooperatives that create employment and limit this haphazard door to door supply and sell of firewood.
It is very important to speed up electrification of the 6 residential areas to reduce deforestation
Sewage disposal challenges
Most sewer stations and systems are down, malfunctioning leading to defaecation- a big health hazard for Maridale.
May need for Biodigester investors, Norton Town Council is disposing waste in a nearby stream, this is a major concern considering the ecology of having 2 large important water bodies that is Lake Manyame and Darwendale.
Blair toilet exist in Norton town set up setting low standards hence ruralisation.
Bush toilets in Kingsdale a big health hazard.
Norton General Hospital is operating as a rural facility as it refers to Banket Hospital yet majority use Norton Hospital,
More hours- waiting times
There is Need for a mortuary.
There is need to quickly upgrade this Hospital honestly how many kilometres is it from Norton to Banket. In terms of population Norton is far much bigger than Banket. In terms of commercial retail space Norton is much bigger than Banket. In terms of housing development, industrial development Norton is far much bigger than Banket yet Banket is the referral.
This is a sign of uncoordinated leadership, the health ministry, the provincial administrator and Provincial Minister’s office, local government ministry should be made aware of this PSIP (Public Sector Investment Programme Funds) to be prioritised on this.
49 educational facilities- of the 49, 28 not registered
19 operating on designated stands
30 on church, industrial, residential, community halls, beerhalls.
There is need for regularisation of this situation.
Need for polytechnical idea to be pushed for Norton and TVETs especially because of young population in Norton.
*half of primary school children are not accounted for at secondary. This shows a sign of Drop Outs, not good.
Children travelling to old established schools posing high pupil teacher ration- need for more schools.
Need for Public Library-doesn’t exist, youth centres are also needed, sports facilities to keep the youths busy so that they stay away from drugs.
Road networks are poor, so many potholes.
Need for food for work maintenance programmes. These are basic maintenance like earth filling, stone filling using the unemployed and vulnerables, a low costapproach
Public transport system common
Norton siding is large and underutilized
Easy potential for future expansion.
I propose modern short haul railway schemes with the high technology sprouting up of course with investors in mind. Even a low hierarchy spaghetti road is ideal to plan for considering that this plan’s tenure is 20years to come. Norton is a nodal town as it is on the highway of a busy road that links over 8 Major towns, exits to important boarders like Plumtree, Kazungula, Beitbridge why not a spaghetti rd for next 20yrs etc.
Other community facilities
2 stadiums malfunctioning
Considering young population in Norton, these need to be spruced up to keep youth busy away from illegal activities. There is need to engage PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) to spruce up most sporting facilities that dont exist such as swimming
No swimming pool in Norton- need for PPPs