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Lupane tables mall project, again

by Staff reporter
26 Aug 2021 at 05:35hrs | Views
MATABELELAND North provincial capital, Lupane, is still seeking potential investors to construct a multi-purpose shopping mall that will assist in attracting more business and investment towards the growth of the dusty town.

The Lupane Local Board (LLB) has, for the second time, gone back to the market to scout for bidders for the mall construction after getting no takers in 2018.

This week LLB flighted another tender inviting interested investors for development of a shopping mall, to be built on a more than six-hectare piece of land near the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway.

"Interested companies or individuals are invited to tender a 6,5-hectare shopping mall site along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway within the Lupane Local Board area for the development of a shopping mall," said the local authority.

"The local board looks at entering into an agreement of lease with the option to purchase and eventually acquire title subject to fulfilment of the said agreement."

According to the notice, tenderers should indicate what they are offering for the site as well as state the approximate minimum value of the envisaged development to be effective on the site.

A compulsory pre-tender meeting and site visit to the site earmarked for the project has been set for Monday next week. LLB Town Secretary Mr Charlton Moyo said in 2018 the local authority only received a bid from Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) for construction of a hotel but the tender fell off because of inflationary pressures and change of currency issues after the tenderer delayed in payment.

He said the bids for construction of a shopping mall are being reopened as the town seeks to develop itself in line with growth taking place in the province. No budget has been set aside as this will be determined by the winning bidder in agreement with the local authority.

"We want this mall as a matter of urgency and we want it to be standard. We will depend on the investor, we are a provincial capital and we need to change the face of the province so we expect it to accommodate the whole province in terms of services," said Mr Moyo.

He said the local authority was inspired by the Second Republic's desire to develop the province through Devolution Agenda hence it has to ensure all necessary services are in place.

"Government is pushing for all provincial services to come to Lupane as the provincial capital. As for the size of the shopping mall, the investor will propose and we will evaluate," said Mr Moyo.

The growing population and expansion of Lupane State University have increased demand for consumer services in Lupane whose economic potential lies in agriculture, energy, mining, timber production, tourism and research. Efforts are also being made by the Government to start exploitation of gas in Lupane.

Lupane State University has moved most of its services to the campus in the provincial capital raising the need for more services for students. Completion of Elitsheni Government Complex and Lupane Provincial Hospital will also trigger the need for more services as more civil servants will be based in the town.

The town's board is also constructing a $300 000 civic centre, which will have 16 offices including a conference centre.

The local authority is also bidding for tenders to service Hlalani Kuhle housing stands through construction of surfaced roads, storm water drainage and sewer reticulation as the town's population continues to grow.

Mr Moyo said the Government had promised the local authority some funds for the projects, and once an investor is found, payments will be made directly to the contractor through the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.

LLB chairperson Commissioner Monica Ngwenya said a 1,2km road network will be tarred in New Stands while 5km will be gravelled in Hlalani Kuhle sections. She said the local authority was already doing preliminary work on the ground waiting for bidders.

Source - chronicle