Business - Featured - Local - Top Stories - March 30, 2021

HLB projects considered in Provincial Development

Sakhile Phiri (Bulawayo Correspondent)

The Hwange Local Board (HLB)’s capital projects have been considered in the Matabeleland North’s list of highly prioritised development plans whose impact is expected to turnaround the economy of the province.

According to the local authority’s latest monthly newsletter, HLB’s Empumalanga West housing project and construction of Hwange Teachers’ College have been included on list of high impact projects enshrined in the draft Provincial Development Plan.

In her presentation to all the district local authorities Matabeleland North Provincial Development Coordinator Mrs Sithandiwe Ncube said there was a need for each local authority in the province to come up with other priority project, which were not included on the Provincial Development Plan’s high impact projects.

“Let us (local authorities) look at what we might have omitted (that was meant to be included in our list of priority projects). However, we shouldn’t say because some of the projects have been included in the (Provincial Development) Plan, we then abandon them. There are projects of routine nature in our areas of jurisdiction. We expect you to carry them out,” Ncube said.

She also noted that there was a need for the province to produce an attractive investment opportunities brochure to enable it to lure potential investors to invest in the area.

Ncube added: “The investment opportunities brochure we are going to take to Embassies in search of investors should be properly packaged to attract investors. There’s funding, which is already there and there’s funding which we have to look for. Bear in mind that individual local authorities can also market themselves to potential investors.

HLB chairman Councillor Nqobile Ocean Mabhena pointed out that a number of infrastructural developments earmarked to be carried out within the local authority’s area of jurisdiction had not been included in the list of high impact projects.

“Our interest is not only on the construction of houses per se. We want expansion on other corresponding infrastructure. We expect the town to grow in tandem with the expansion project at Hwange Power Station thus we also need to focus on upgrading our sewer plant and having one or two additional water reservoirs,” Mabhena said.

He also noted that the local authority was also looking forward to constructing a Civic Centre at its proposed Central Business District (CBD) in partnership with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

Mabhena highlighted that there was a likelihood of setting up a state-of-the-art hospital.

“Initially it was supposed to be a clinic, but ZPC has indicated that it wants a stand for the construction of a hospital,” Mabhena noted.

The establishment of the Civic Centre was mooted about seven years ago but the local authority was struggling to attract investors to take up the project, only for Old Mutual to commit itself two years ago.

The Empumalanga West project was initiated by the local authority council in 2014 as a way of providing a low cost housing scheme for low income earners and the servicing of 2 145 Empumalanga West residential stands has since been handed over to Government.


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