By Vumani Mthiyane
Gwanda Town Council has set an ambitious target of attaining city status by 2023, with a number of infrastructure development projects lined up.
The gold mining town is located about 126 km south-east of Bulawayo and is the capital of Matabeleland South province.
In an interview with CITE Gwanda Mayor, Councillor Justone Mazhale said the municipality has entered into a number of partnerships in order to expedite the development of both residential and commercial properties, in a bid to lure investors.
“Our vision is to attain city status by 2023 hence we are vigorously working on our infrastructure and road networks which are being tarred as we speak right now.
“I am very optimistic that by the end of June next year most of our roads in the high-density suburbs will be tarred,” said the Mayor.
He added that they are also working on improving water supplies in the town.
“In principle, we agreed with Zinwa that we will have to take over water management and the issue is at ministerial level. The 5 megalitre water tank is almost finished and the pump arrived this week and the testing can be done anytime. Our engineering department will be flashing the pipes and establishing the cracks and if we have enough water that is one way of attracting investors,” said Mayor Mazhale.
He also mentioned that most of their commercial stands have been reserved for big companies listed in the stock exchange.
“If we manage to attract PSMAS, Nyaradzo, Econet and other big companies we would have attracted money, we would have attracted services as well as employment for the local people. Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board has already paid for their stand and servicing.
Big banks have already been approached and indicators are positive,” he said.
To buttress his points, the Town Clerk, Priscilla Nkala said they are in good partnership with local mines such as Vumbachikwe, Blanket and Colleen Bawn.
“We are taking a leaf from what Mimosa mine is doing to Zvishavane,” she said.
Residents who spoke to CITE expressed happiness about this positive development.
Conwell Siphuma from ward 8 in Phakama said this will be a great achievement for Gwanda.
“This will be a wonderful development. Once we attain a city status, I am 100 percent confident that first and foremost the pricing madness will be naturally controlled. Currently, Gwanda is the most expensive town in the country.
“The reason being that the business community claim to be sourcing their wares from Bulawayo and Mussina in South Africa,” said Siphuma.
A senior citizen, Gogo MaNare said the development will improve service delivery.
“I think if we become a city, the local authority will be more serious and work on improving service delivery system,” she said.