Taurai Mangudhla Senior Business Reporter
LISTED construction firm Masimba Holdings is putting final touches to the construction of Old Mutual’s $21,4 million Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) centre in Harare, targeting its official opening in June.
The mall was initially scheduled for completion this month and has missed the deadline.
The project, covering one hectare, is designed to offer decent market space for SMEs, which are currently driving the Zimbabwean economy.
The new complex is “practically” complete, project manager Engineer Kudzaishe Magodoro told The Herald Business yesterday after a tour of the place.
“It’s practically complete, we are now just sweeping up to ensure the place is comfortable for tenants that is why we are saying it opens in June,” Engineer Magodoro said.
Eng Magodoro’s remarks come after chief executive Mr Canada Malunga earlier indicated the multimillion dollar project will be handed over to the client, Old Mutual, by July.
“The building is basically complete, because there is no concrete work that will be done between now and July if you look at it. So we are done,” Mr Malunga said.
Mr Malunga could not be drawn to speak more on the project and operations since an update will be issued at Masimba’s annual general meeting tomorrow. However, Engineer Magodoro said the building was made up of 24 flats and 35 shops, 31 on the ground floor and four on the first floor. He said there will be a supermarket area and parking space for 88 vehicles.
The emporium has a ramp for vehicles to access the first floor and a pedestrian ramp, which leads to a bridge connecting the complex with the East Gate mall across Robert Mugabe road, the first of its kind in Africa.
The company has installed a 450 000l water tank for the property on its basement to supply tenants with water. In an update of other projects, Mr Malunga said Masimba was also working on a similar project in Victoria Falls; the Sawanga shopping mall.
The $10 million project was started at the beginning of the year and is set for completion in January 2019. The company targets to complete an irrigation project on Gairezi River, which separates Zimbabwe and Mozambique, in March next year.
The two-year project was started in March 2017 and is expected to improve livelihoods of people living in surrounding communities. Masimba landed the contract from the Industrial Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) for the multi-million dollar Baobab Housing scheme in Kariba.
Analysts yesterday toured four different sites of projects done by Masimba; a shopping mall in Norton, a new office complex in Borrowdale, a completed office building along Josiah Chinamano Avenue and the SME centre.
Earlier in April, Masimba projected a cautious outlook for its operations this year on account of persistent foreign currency constraints that are hampering most business operations across industries in Zimbabwe. The company on announcing its 2017 full-year financials said foreign currency problems threatened execution and delayed completion of construction projects.
In the latest annual financials, for the period to December 2017, Masimba reported an after tax profit of $698 738, up from $507 055 after registering a 43 percent turnover growth to $27,5 million, largely driven by the private sector particularly mining and housing infrastructure.