Hwange Local Board is set to construct a US$700 000 shopping mall, a move that is set to give the coal mining town a face-lift.
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Town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose was optimistic that the project would generate employment and lure investors to Hwange.
If completed, the shopping mall will house financial institutions, large retail shops and offices.
“We are very confident that the project will see the light of day.
This project will also bring the much-needed development of Hwange and Matabeleland North province.
“We are going to strategically locate this shopping mall, where everyone passing through Hwange can have access to the services offered at this shopping mall,” said Mdlalose.
He said the current set-up of the Hwange Central Business District was not in good order, as retail shops and other service providers were scattered.
“The current set-up of Hwange is not very good, the businesses are scattered, which is not good for people,” he said.
He attributed this to the fact that companies operating in Hwange were in charge of the large chunk of infrastructure, especially properties rented to the business community.
Hwange Colliery Company and Zimbabwe Power Company own most of the properties being rented out.
Mdlalose said the projects by the local authority aim to boost tourism in Hwange and surrounding areas.
“Mining has a time limit yet tourism is continuous, hence our thrust on converting this town into another tourism spot like Victoria Falls,” said Mdlalose.
Hwange Local Board chairman, Cosmos Ndlovu said the actual planning of the shopping mall project has already been done and council now awaited the physical planning team to finalise it before construction started.
He said construction of the main road at the proposed shopping mall project was underway having been made possible through funding from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.
The council has also sourced 52 000 litres of bitumen to resurface the roads around the proposed project site.
The shopping mall project is one of the many projects the local board is undertaking this year, having completed the rehabilitation of the sewer reticulation system which had been a problem for the local authority for the past six years.