Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Chiredzi Town Council is pinning its hopes of getting municipal status on the $18 million Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe housing project that will see the Lowveld sugar producer constructing houses for its more than 10 000 employees.
Government recently gave Tongaat 750 hectares, through Chiredzi Town Council, for the development of houses for some of its employees.
The housing project is expected to kick off soon and will ease housing woes in the sugar cane growing town, while also precipitating urban expansion. Town Secretary Mr Charles Muchatukwa said Chiredzi Town was eyeing municipal status by year-end.
He said the planned multi-million housing project would see council upgrading infrastructure such as water reticulation contributing to the growth of Chiredzi.
“We are glad that Government availed 750ha of land towards our town’s expansion,” said Mr Muchatukwa. “This was one area which stopped us from applying for elevation to municipal status because land is a key asset for any town poised for growth.
“We had been waiting for Government to avail more land for expansion and this was strengthened by the excitement in the corporate world, local business community and individuals who yearned to see further growth of Chiredzi to become the real economic capital of the Lowveld where tourism, sugarcane and cotton farming are major drivers of growth.’’ Mr Muchatukwa said Tongaat’s proposed housing project for its employees under the workers’ pension fund will stimulate economic growth in the town.
“When construction of the 10 000 Tongaat houses starts, we are quite sure that the move will change the economic face of Chiredzi as thousands of jobs will be created in additional to new infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer works among other facilities,’’ said Mr Muchatukwa.