Govt pushes for affordable mortgage financing; urges banks to review current schemes

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By Anna Chibamu

PUBLIC Service minister Paul Mavima has urged banks and other financial institutions to re-establish proper mortgage financing that is reasonably affordable to ordinary citizens.

He was speaking during a performance contract signing ceremony attended by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), National Building Society (NBS) bank and the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (ZIPAM) chairpersons.

Mavima said a 20-30 year mortgage scheme more affordable to citizens compared to the current 5 year plan offered by banks.

“Provide mortgage schemes that are affordable. You cannot push for everything within the 5-year mortgage payment plan you are offering to people.

“Let us revert back to the old system. At least a 20-30 years mortgage scheme can be afforded by most people,” Mavima said.

He added, “The economy is growing. The infrastructure sector shows a growth in development. There is an up-ward swing in development therefore, banks should also align themselves with bringing back what was done in the past.”

As growth is anticipated in future, Mavima urged banks to lower interest rates.

He added that the government is committed to improving social security systems especially to pensioners.

“Pensioners need a high standard of living. Those in the informal sector will be converted to the social security services coverage.

“We have seen some pensions collapsing and NSSA has become the security enhancing pension welfare and the value of the schemes has improved too”

Recently, the government reviewed pension benefits from US$12 to US$60.

Mavima promised to increase funding for non-monetary benefits.

“Resourcing and funding of informal sector schemes should be increased urgently,” he said.