Municipal Reporter
Construction of the $5 million Mbudzi People’s Market under a joint venture between Harare City Council and Augur Investments is now complete, with over 400 traders set to move into the huge complex at the intersection of Chitungwiza and Masvingo roads at the end of the month. The market will also host a TM mega-market and Innscor food outlets.

Augur Investments chairman Mr Ken Sharpe said they were now moving on to the second phase, under which a regional bus terminus modelled around Central Park Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a service station would be constructed at a cost of $15 million.

“Major construction work is complete; we are now putting final touches. The People’s Market will be opened at the end of this month although the official launch is slated for end of October,” said Mr Sharpe.

“The market will accommodate 435 table vendors and 100 shopping units. We modelled the market alongside Malaysian markets, which we had an opportunity to tour.

“We have provided hygienic ablution facilities and we will also provide recreational facilities.” Mr Sharpe said to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity, they were engaging a local company to supply a solar system to the market as a backup option. He said the market had since been nominated for an innovative development prize by a local institution.

It provides natural light and is also well ventilated. Business committee chairperson Councillor Peter Moyo said council was happy with the progress and commitment shown by its partner. “They are on the right track. We are under pressure from Government to deliver infrastructural projects and this is a step in the right direction.

“As a city, we should be proactive and not wait for Government to push us. It is in this light that we will not hesitate to cancel contracts entered between council and partners who fail to deliver,” he said.

The market consists of restaurants; banking halls and ATM facilities; groceries, fresh fruit and vegetable and fresh meat markets; pharmacies, hair salons and beauty parlours, among others. It has 10 enclosed structures with a covered central walkway that protects shoppers from bad weather conditions.

It was built under Sunshine Holdings, a joint venture company between Harare City Council and Augur Investments.

Augur Investments owns 70 percent and council the remaining 30 percent.Meanwhile, Harare City Council is working with Homelink in a deal over low income houses and residential stands in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation.

Under Zim-Asset, council must provide 100 000 housing units by 2018. The deal is structured in such a way that Homelink would provide mortgage finance.

Acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube recently told the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee that Government had advised that Homelink had been provided with funding for low and medium cost housing.

“Government had set housing development targets through Zim-Asset for local authorities and based on such deliverables on the Results Based management. In order to achieve these targets the department had identified several housing delivery models.

“The Homelink model would be suitable for the city to attain the city’s targets. Homelink would service the land and build core houses and also develop schools and other amenities,” read part of the minutes.

Mrs Ncube said council had capacity to service the land within 12 months.

Harare province is expected to deliver 105 935 houses by 2018. Council has in the past 20 years failed to service land for residential purposes blaming it on economic challenges the country is facing.