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Bulawayo set for major transformation

by Staff reporter
18 Feb 2024 at 09:00hrs | Views
BULAWAYO is experiencing a renaissance as investor interest is surging, reindustrialisation efforts taking root and multi-million dollar projects underway, signalling a promising future for the city.

The Bulawayo City Council is spearheading a remarkable transformation with 16 major capital projects underway, encompassing diverse sectors from transport to education, industry and commerce. At the heart of this resurgence is the development of a state-of-the-art Egodini Bus Terminus, with Phase 1A of the project having been recently completed.

The terminus, once fully completed is set to revolutionise the public transport sector in the region, with the ambitious endeavour reflecting Bulawayo's commitment to modernisation and enhanced connectivity.

The city is also witnessing the emergence of vibrant shopping malls that are promising to elevate the retail landscape and provide a dynamic shopping experience for residents and visitors alike. These developments are not only reshaping the physical landscape but also instilling a renewed sense of vibrancy and economic activity in Bulawayo.

In a bid to bolster the city's educational framework, the establishment of new colleges is also underway, reflecting the commitment to nurturing a skilled workforce and cultivating a knowledge-based economy. This investment in education is a testament to Bulawayo's dedication to empowering its residents and fostering intellectual growth.

Furthermore, the reindustrialisation drive is breathing new  life into Bulawayo, with the construction of factories and office parks. These initiatives are poised to reignite the city's industrial prowess, creating employment opportunities and stimulating economic growth.

The confluence of these transformative projects underscores an era of revitalisation and optimism for Bulawayo under the Second Republic, as the city reclaims its status as a vibrant economic and cultural centre, the investment interest it has garnered serves as a testament to its potential and allure for local and international stakeholders.

According to the latest council report, as of December, the city had 16 major capital projects being undertaken in the city, which are all at various levels of development.

These projects include the Egodini Bus Terminus being undertaken by Terracotta Trading, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe Student accommodation complex in Matsheumhlophe, Mater Dei Hospital extension, Harvest House International Conference Centre and a wedding venue being constructed by an S Ndlovu in Emakhandeni.

Red Cross is also constructing offices in North End, AP Glendening is constructing an office park, Bakers Inn; a new factory in Belmont, a new primary school is being constructed by Sabi Junior School in Richmond, Ubanet Trust is constructing a maternity home in North End while Nathoo is constructing a shopping mall.
Gadgerry Investments, Fachinik Properties and Mrs Petkah are all constructing shops, a Mr and Mrs Hadebe are building a shopping mall while K and C Mhlophe are constructing an academic college.

To add on to these major projects, just in December last year council received 14 building plans for commercial properties to be constructed and two for industrial properties, which were all valued at US$2 million.

Commenting on these developments Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Matebeleland Chapter past vice-president and businessman, Mr Louis Herbst said these capital projects signify a significant step towards the revival of the city's industries and the overall growth and development of Bulawayo. He said the implementation of these projects holds immense promise for the revival of the city's industries.

"Revitalising key infrastructure such as Egodini and the establishment of a new factory by Bakers Inn are crucial steps in rejuvenating the city's economic landscape. These initiatives are poised to create employment opportunities, attract investment, and stimulate economic activity in the region.

"Furthermore, the BCC's commitment to these projects bodes well for the growth and development of Bulawayo. The construction of modern shopping malls and the establishment of academic colleges will not only enhance the city's commercial and educational offerings but also contribute to its overall attractiveness as a destination for investment, tourism, and residence," said Mr Herbst.

"The creation of a conducive environment for business and education will undoubtedly foster a vibrant and sustainable urban ecosystem, positioning Bulawayo as a hub of economic and social development in the region," he added.

Mr Herbst noted that these projects align with President Mnangagwa's national vision 2030 agenda of turning Zimbabwe into an upper middle class income society.

"When local councils work hand in hand with the national vision, local and national interests converge, making a significant impact on the economic development of the country. By aligning with the President's national vision, these projects will contribute to employment creation, economic stability, and overall development in line with the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.

"As a representative of the business community in Matebeleland, I believe that the successful implementation of these projects will not only benefit the city of Bulawayo but also contribute to the realisation of Zimbabwe's vision 2030. It is essential for the BCC to ensure that these development projects are executed efficiently, transparently, and in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to maximise their impact," he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matebeleland Chapter vice-president, Mr Joseph Gunda noted that these are exciting projects and developments that will propel Bulawayo as a modern city with the projects bringing along state-of-the-art machinery and technology.

"This is part of the revival of industries in Bulawayo with the expectations that hi-tech will bring along high quality products at affordable prices to the region particularly bread. New developments on academic colleges are in line with Government's thrust on Education 5.0, thus keeping Bulawayo on track with Regional and International standards"The Egodini project will decongest the Central Business District and maintain Bulawayo as a smart city. New shopping malls are in line with Regional and International trends as this will also decongest the CBD, further all these projects will create employment for the City and thus help to increase the GDP of the region," said Mr Gunda.

He further noted that these developments will attract more local and foreign investors to the city.

The influx of capital projects in the city comes at a time that the local authority is working on expanding its Central Business District (CBD) which will see it stretch up to Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue, together with the establishment of district commercial centres.

According to the City of Bulawayo's Master Plan for the years 2019 to 2034, the CBD will be expanded with an urban design framework and Local Development Plan set to be commissioned which focuses on public space, landscaping, and building design guidelines.

Source - The Sunday News
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